Neighbourhood Planning Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 28th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales 6:30 pm, 28th February 2017

My Lords, I will speak collectively to government Amendments 64, 72, 76, and 77. I listened carefully to the concerns raised during Grand Committee and am grateful to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. He is not in his place but was most generous with his time in meeting with me between Committee and Report to discuss the matter further. I know that other noble Lords have focused on this area: the noble Lords, Lord Pannick, Lord Kennedy and Lord Beecham, and my noble friend Lady Cumberlege have all raised concerns on this.

These government amendments narrow the scope of the consequential power in Clause 40 to apply it to only Part 2 of the Bill—the part related to compulsory purchase and not the part related strictly to neighbourhood plans. We expect it to be most needed in relation to compulsory purchase and therefore have responded to concerns raised in Grand Committee.

The Government have also ensured that the new consequential power which applies to Part 2 of the Bill allows provision “in consequence of this Bill”, rather than provision which the Secretary of State,

“considers appropriate, to be made in consequence of this Bill”.

This change of words may appeal to those who thought that the original language was too subjective.

I do not wish to pre-empt any points that noble Lords may wish to make on this but I do want to address the concerns raised. We have responded to those concerns and significantly narrowed the scope of this provision in the Bill. I beg to move.