Neighbourhood Planning Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 28th February 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Gardner of Parkes Baroness Gardner of Parkes Conservative 5:00 pm, 28th February 2017

My Lords, I thank those who have spoken. I have been very impressed by how clear they have been and by how many have had direct experience of exactly what I have brought forward, which encourages me to think that we have a case that should be looked at. On my last amendment, the Minister remarked helpfully that he would be willing to look at the issues raised, particularly in terms of secondary legislation that was possibly going to come forward later in the year. If he could similarly assure me that this would be the case here, and the matter would not be just dropped and forgotten, I would be very happy to accept that assurance. It is an important issue, and ordinary people feel justifiably aggrieved when something like that happens and they did not even have the opportunity to know that it was going to happen before suddenly getting the letter which says “We have granted permission”. You did not even know anything was going to be considered, and it has gone through the whole retrospective permission without anyone being notified.

Perhaps the Minister could do something to ensure that people considering retrospective permissions see that the correct consultation takes place and that people know that these matters are being considered. It is very upsetting for people when they suddenly find out that it is all a fait accompli. A very telling point indeed was made that if someone is doing this as a deliberate policy, they will do it again and again. A lot has come out in the debate today and I just hope that the Minister will say that he will look thoroughly into these issues in terms of possible regulations or secondary legislation on the subject at a later date.