National Planning Policy Framework
Nick responds to the CLG Select Committee Statement on the National Planning Policy Framework
Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs) (Con)
As a strong supporter of localism and neighbourhood planning in particular, may I echo the warm welcome for the hon. Gentleman’s Committee’s report, which correctly identifies a number of the issues confronting local communities? May I also join in his plea to the Minister to pay attention to the recommendations, to respond to them constructively and as soon as possible, and in particular to deal with the problem of the loophole that is allowing speculative development applications, with developers circling villages like hawks, waiting to pounce on greenfield sites that are not in identified local or neighbourhood plans, and as a result undermining faith in the localism we promised?
Mr Clive Betts (Sheffield South East) (Lab)
That sentiment was expressed very strongly to us when we met the 60 representatives of community groups and parish groups. We consistently heard the message that people did not feel in control of what was happening in their own areas. If there was no local plan in place, they felt completely unprotected against individual applications for developments that they felt would be unsustainable. The right hon. Gentleman gave evidence to the Committee on precisely those points and we took that very much into account in our recommendations.
You can read the Hansard of the full statement here.