Westferry Printworks Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 1:40 pm, 24th June 2020

I will just make some more progress, then I will come back to the hon. Lady.

In July 2018, Westferry Developments submitted a planning application for a large development comprising 1,500 homes, including affordable homes, shops and office space. The case was with Tower Hamlets Council for eight months, and over that period, despite having five determination meetings arranged, it failed to make a decision. It is disappointing that the council failed to meet its statutory requirements, but it is not surprising. In the past five years, 30 planning applications have been decided at appeal because of non-determination by the council.

The council had considerable time to process the application. Indeed, a meeting of the strategic development committee was cancelled in January 2019 due to lack of business. Is it fair to say that there is a lack of business when we are in a housing crisis and the council has applications such as this before it? Does the Labour party believe that is fair? In our system of law, justice delayed is justice denied, and that is what Tower Hamlets Council was trying to do here.