Local development concerns raised by Priti in Parliament

Local development concerns raised by Priti in Parliament

Published: 10th January 2023 - 9:45 am Category: General News

The Witham MP, Priti Patel, during a debate in the House of Commons (9th January 2023), has questioned the Planning and Housing Minister, Lucy Frazer MP, about the Government’s plans to help local communities fight back against inappropriate, unsustainable and speculative development applications. Priti, who has successfully pressed the Government to consult on changes to planning policies, said:

“Communities across the Witham constituency have had to fight hard against inappropriate development proposals and plans. Far too often speculative developers have been able to run roughshod over local views and secure planning permission to impose unsustainable developments on them.”

“While we need new homes for local people and local communities have come forward with suitable sites, confidence in the planning system is undermined when inappropriate developments that fail to contribute sufficient investment in infrastructure and public services. I am pleased that the Government is consulting on changes to planning policies and will continue to press for our local communities to have more powers over planning decisions in their areas.”

Copy of the Hansard text from House of Commons Debate, 9 January 2023, Official Report, Columns 251-252:

Potentially Unsuitable Development Proposals
Priti Patel
(Witham) (Con)
1. What steps he is taking to help communities protect themselves from potentially unsuitable development proposals. (902977)

The Minister of State, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (Lucy Frazer)
Mr Speaker, I would like to start by apologising on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for his absence from the Chamber. As I believe you and the hon. Member for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) are aware, he has a family reason that means he is unable to be here today.

The Government are taking action to protect communities from inappropriate development through measures in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill and through our proposals for updating the national policy planning framework, which we launched for consultation at the end of last year. Those proposals include giving increased weight to plans in decision making, removing the requirement to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply where a plan is up to date and strengthening the protections from speculative development for areas that have a neighbourhood plan that meets its housing requirement.

Priti Patel
The Minister is well aware that communities across the Witham constituency, including many villages such as Hatfield Peverel, Tollesbury, Tiptree and Black Notley, have been subject to speculative developments, some of which have gone through on appeals from builders in particular or have been approved by councils concerned about their five-year land supply. What assurances can she and the Government give my constituents, who are fighting against many speculative developers and developments, that the Government’s planning policies are on the side of those communities?

Lucy Frazer
I am very aware of the issues my right hon. Friend raises, because we discussed them at length as the Bill was going through the House. I am grateful for her contributions, which have strengthened the Bill. I know that communities, including in her constituency, invest considerable time and effort in preparing neighbourhood plans, and I understand their frustrations when decisions go against their wishes. The current NPPF already provides important additional protection from speculative development for areas with a neighbourhood plan, but we want to go even further. We have just published proposals to increase protections for areas, including those with neighbourhood plans. Those proposals are now out for consultation and I know the Secretary of State will consider all views carefully before making a final decision.

Stay up-to date with the latest news, views and press releases from Priti by subscribing to her newsletter.

The data being submitted in this form is handled in accordance with current data protection laws.
Please refer to our privacy policy for full details.