New clause 1 — Planning Contribution
Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill — [Ist Allotted Day]
Mr Keith Hill (Minister of State (Housing and Planning), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; Streatham, Labour)
I think that the hon. Gentleman went a limited way to salvaging his position by his last observation, but I am rather shocked by his intervention. Why should we expect that the Welsh will abuse the system? That is an outrageous suggestion. We have no reason to believe that the Welsh Assembly will behave in anything other than an entirely proper manner. Amendments Nos. 21 and 22 provide that regulations made under the planning contribution provisions will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. That means that the House will have the opportunity to see the regulations before they are made.
Amendments Nos. 23 and 24 provide for the repeal of sections 106, 106A and 106B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
I come now to our reasons for introducing the proposals now. Planning Bills are few and far between, so we are taking the legislative opportunity that the Bill represents to reform an area of planning policy that stakeholders from all sides agree needs reform. Introducing the amendments now does not preclude a full discussion on how our reforms might work, nor close off debate on the matters raised in the consultation document. I assure the House that we are listening carefully to the interested parties. Already, we have consulted face to face with hundreds of people drawn from local authorities across the country, a diverse range of businesses and their representatives, and those who are interested in the provision of affordable housing, which is the single biggest use of planning obligations. We are encouraging everyone to respond to the consultation and we will proceed by means of deliberation and discussion throughout. We will ensure that we put as much information as possible before Parliament as it considers our proposals.