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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 7:00 pm on 26th January 2015.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 7:00 pm, 26th January 2015

I strongly agree with my right hon. Friend, who has been tireless in promoting the interests of local communities against such developments in his constituency.

The first problem is the Planning Inspectorate upholding or encouraging speculative applications. The second is that the inspectorate is interfering with local plans drawn up by planning authorities. The Conservative party’s manifesto at the last election stated:

“To give communities greater control over planning, we will…abolish the power of planning inspectors to rewrite local plans”.

That is exactly what we should now do, but the inspectorate is rewriting local plans. It is raising housing numbers in my constituency to beyond the level set out in the south-east plan, and it is causing delay at a time when responsible authorities are planning for a great number of houses—40,000 in the district council areas that cover my constituency, where there are 7,000 unbuilt planning permissions in one authority alone.