Jacqui Lait (Shadow Minister, Communities and Local Government; Beckenham, Conservative)
New clause 10 is the key, as the other amendments are consequential upon it. I am sure that many of us have encountered constituency cases in which buildings outside listed areas, but which are precious to the community, have been demolished without consent. We are trying to protect those buildings, so that planning permission must be granted to demolish them. Many towns and villages have cherished buildings that are part of the townscape or of the village that people love, which are sometimes demolished without permission.
Sadly, in my constituency there is now only a site where once there was Lavender cottage. I saw it being knocked down on a Saturday morning, which made me suspicious. I got hold of the planning department, but, by the time the bureaucracy had ground into action, the building was unreplaceable. Needless to say, there has subsequently been a planning application for multiple dwelling units on that site. Meanwhile, the street in which the house existed is altered fundamentally because of the demolition. Although I have personal experience of that, I know that I am not alone in wishing that there were greater controls over demolition of buildings. That is why I have tabled the new clause.