Housing Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 20th July 2004.

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Photo of Lord Hanningfield Lord Hanningfield Shadow Minister, Local and Devolved Government Affairs, Deputy Chief Whip, Whips 2:30 pm, 20th July 2004

We seem to have had a great deal of debate on the issue. In response to the noble Baroness, Lady Dean, local authorities have to respond in considerable detail to planning applications. Many planning applications are controversial, particularly when one wants to build on areas and neighbourhoods where people do not want building. Planning authorities receive hundreds of requests for information and detail about planning applications which they cannot refuse. This would be no different.

I accept the comments of the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, and I thank the Minister for his answer because it offered a way forward. He rightly said that I am involved in Essex County Council and that it is not the housing authority. Between now and further stages of the Bill, I would like to consult my colleagues on housing authorities in local government and see if we can come back with a better suggestion. The Minister said that if we talk to local government about it we might come back with a solution that we could all accept about how and to whom the information will be made available. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.