Members of Parliament ‘get it’ as minister evades

In a debate in Westminster Hall a couple of days ago, David Heath MP led a consideration of the impact of the planning reforms introduced by the NPPF.  Most of the participating MPs came from north, north-west and south-west constituencies, many were Tories.  Not one from a Surrey constituency – don’t tell me, too busy on ministerial duties, too much under the influence of the whips office, don’t want to be members of the ‘awkward squad’.

Of those that spoke, many have constituencies where most, if not all, of their villages are threatened with levels of development similar to those embodied in the Guildford Borough Council Draft Local Plan consultation evidence documents; time and again they complained of how the Planning Inspectorate is riding roughshod over the wishes of local people, their Parish Councils and their Local Planning Authorities [LPA] because of the poorly defined plan-making process of the NPPF and the confusing nature and poor quality of population forward-estimates emanating from the Office of National Statistics [ONS] that LPAs have to rely on when developing their Strategic Market Housing Area Assessment [SHMAA] evidence base.  All recognised that the aspiration to “localism” in recent legislation is a sham and that citizens are being disenfranchised by the impact of the NPPF.

Nick Boles MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) eventually turned up to give the ministerial response towards the end of the debate.  Many assurances were given regarding the forthcoming revised NPPF-guidance but MPs such as Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-upon-Avon) were unconvinced, as we should be.

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One thought on “Members of Parliament ‘get it’ as minister evades

  1. This is a game isn’t it?We know that developers have land mostly brownfield but now adding greenfield somewhat speculatively.We know there is no point in building where there is no ‘market’ and the economic conditions for 1st time buyers and others have been far from ideal ever since the collapse of the banking system and the mortgage free for all we indulged ourselves in before that.What is new? The idea of localism was a popular policy that has proved to be just a PR spin because the real problem is that LA’s for the first time have to identify land for development that is available.Shouldn’t we be asking Guildford BC to commission a survey of land within existing areas of development to find out why it ISN’T available. What permissions have been granted but not yet proceeded with. Who are the owners of land that is sited in areas already identified for development. If you are reading this I hope you will add to the debate.We have to find a way forward and it seems…..tell our elected members which route to take.
    Your Parish Council is in communication with all the other Parish Councils in the GBC area and meeting to discuss the problem on 3rd Feb. If you have ideas let us know what they are …. please.

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