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Local authorities already have strong powers to act against unauthorised development which apply to everyone who ignores planning controls. In the Localism Bill, we have taken action to restrict retrospective planning applications, to ensure that people do not get away with flouting the system.
I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. What assurances can he give me that those rules will apply equally to all residents, and that the Travelling community will not be exempt from rules that apply to the rest of the population?
It is right and proper that we should respect the lifestyle choices of the Travelling community, but that does not give them particular rights over other citizens, particularly among the settled community. This Government will introduce special rules to ensure that authorities that provide pitches for Travellers receive a top-up against the new homes bonus, but the planning rules must be blind to a person’s ethnic background.