Clause 89

Part of Localism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 15th February 2011.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Conservative, Great Yarmouth 5:15 pm, 15th February 2011

The right hon. Gentleman seems to be missing the point of the complaints of some of the communities. It is not about whether there was a desire for development, but about how it was done and the central control theory. I could only agree with the hon. Member for North Durham when he said last summer that he had referred

“in the previous Parliament to the system being akin to Soviet-style planning, and it…put constraints on the development of housing in my North Durham constituency.”—[Official Report, 10 June 2010; Vol. 511, c. 448.]

I also agreed with the hon. Member for Worsley and Eccles South, when she said:

“Meeting some putative targets for housing is not the way we should be going, we should be thinking about sustainability”.

That is the whole point. This is about central control versus what the Government are trying to achieve—giving local communities flexibility and freedom, and the responsibility to decide what they want their communities to be, to look like and to feel like.