Housing and Planning
Business of the House
Eric Pickles (Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Brentwood and Ongar, Conservative)
Clearly the change does not allow the old system of garden grabbing. We will be consulting, so Mr Simon Smith will be able to make a contribution—[ Interruption. ] Indeed, I think the hon. Gentleman can go back to Mr Smith and say, “I’ve been down to the Commons and I think you might make a bob or two out of this.” I think he should go out with him at the weekend to leaflet places and get some business going for him. With regard to arbitration between neighbours, we are expecting people to operate in a neighbourly fashion, and there are the safeguards on curtilage and for ensuring that no more than half the garden is built on. [ Interruption. ] If the hon. Gentleman feels so strongly about this, he should consider making representations during our consultation period. He shakes his head, but he is denying the aspirations of ordinary people. He kindly demonstrates that the Labour party is never on the side of those who aspire.