Housing and Planning Bill - Report (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 25th April 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Labour 5:30 pm, 25th April 2016

My goodness, my Lords, this is a difficult one, is it not? Many vital points have been raised in this short debate, and I am grateful for the support that my amendment has received.

Everyone has made the point that 50% of affordable housing comes from Section 106 agreements, which is a huge amount for housing in rural areas. As the right reverend Prelate said, we should be talking about development and creating the future and not only about protection. The Government have already recognised that protection is needed, but we are looking to the future so that we can develop our communities in the countryside and ensure that they are vital. As the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, said, local authorities in all rural areas, not only those in AONB areas and in national parks, are looking for consideration and assurance that they will be able to continue to have affordable homes on Section 106 sites.

I know that the Minister wants to help, and she has been very generous with her time in discussions. We had a discussion about an hour and a half ago, when it was hoped that something could be put in the Bill—we need something in the Bill—and she said that she is not only content but happy to continue discussions with your Lordships about regulations and what should be in them. However, she has said that she could not come back with anything firm before Third Reading. I am tempted to continue discussions with the noble Baroness about how we might take this forward. However, I would do so only if she can give me permission to bring this back at Third Reading—in only two days’ time—if I feel that our negotiations are not getting anywhere. If she cannot give me permission to bring this back in the form of a similar amendment at Third Reading, I am afraid that I shall have to seek the view of the House. I ask the noble Baroness to give me permission to bring this back at Third Reading so that we can continue discussions in the next two days.