New Clause 10 — Local Development Plan

Part of Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 9th December 2003.

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Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Conservative, Suffolk Coastal 2:15 pm, 9th December 2003

Not at all, because the Conservatives in Devon have made it perfectly clear that they oppose the Labour Government and want to get rid of them. They also want to get rid of the need to associate themselves with the Liberals, which must be a very unpleasant experience for them. I very much commend them on putting the county's interests above the unpleasantness of being close to the Liberals.

I shall move on, because I have not been able to tempt the third Liberal in the Chamber to speak—I shall have to be a little more extreme to get Mr. Heath to intervene. There is a serious problem with the Bill. I wish that the Minister had been much more radical, as many things should have been covered in the Bill, including sustainability, energy saving and the way in which building regulations should develop. The Government ought to be legislating on many of those things, as they are important. The Bill is truncated, and does not include many things that we have been pressing for on an all-party basis. I am concerned that the provisions on local development plans are not wide, progressive or radical enough. I am sure that that is not the Minister's fault, and that it was his predecessor who got us into this situation. However, I wish to put down a marker for the future.