Housing and planning
Applications for housing development are received and considered by the relevant Local Planning Authority (LPA), following a process of thorough consideration.
As an MP, Nick cannot intervene in individual planning applications, or on neighbourly disputes.
He is concerned, however, that the democratically-made policies of neighbourhood plans are upheld, and that local people are given their say over development in their area. He has been very active to this end, speaking in many debates in the Commons, meeting with Ministers and Council officials, and winning important new protections for neighbourhood plans during the passage of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017.
Nick believes we need more affordable housing, and worries that young people cannot get their feet onto the housing ladder. But we also need to protect the beautiful West Sussex countryside, and ensure that new development is sustainable. Our villages have already grown significantly, and there is pressure on local infrastructure. The Localism Act abolished housing targets, instead requiring our councils to introduce local plans to meet housing need - but this need is growing. It also introduced neighbourhood planning, which should put communities in control of where housing should go and enable our villages to protect green spaces from development.
Nick has also succeeded in asking for some developments to be rejected by the Secretary of State. He has strongly opposed unsustainable major new developments, including the Mayfield new town between Henfield and Sayers Common and a new settlement between Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate. He will continue to urge that the green space between villages is maintained.
Nick has spoken out strongly at Westminster about the need to protect the countryside, promote localism and ensure that development is sustainable, and will continue to do so. The South Downs, its surrounding villages and small market towns are very special, and he will continue to do everything in his power to protect them.