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New Clause 14 — Expenditure of Greater London Authority on housing or regeneration

Part of Infrastructure Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 26th January 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Williams Stephen Williams The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 6:45 pm, 26th January 2015

I hear what my hon. Friend says and she clearly has loud support for that.

Following your exhortation, Madam Deputy Speaker, I will skip the various examples I have of different planning appeals around the country. What I am saying today is that the Government are committed to doing far more to publicise those recent cases widely, to provide reassurance that unsustainable development should be resisted.

We will use the Planning Advisory Service to ensure that our message is clearly understood: the national planning policy framework does not stand for development at any cost. It promotes positive planning and sustainable development. We must ensure that councils have confidence to exercise their responsibilities for the benefit of their communities.

I appreciate the intention of new clause 20, also tabled my right hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs. It seeks to give communities and their representatives the power to intervene, or “appeal”, certain planning proposals if they oppose the local authority’s decision to grant planning permission. I entirely agree with the premise of giving communities as great a say as possible in planning, and this is at the heart of all this Government’s reforms. I therefore welcome the fact that on 22 January Angmering neighbourhood plan, in my right hon. Friend’s constituency, was supported at referendum with a 97% yes vote on a turnout of 31%. It allocates sites for at least 100 homes, and is the 45th successful neighbourhood planning referendum.