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Clause 5 - Modification or discharge of affordable housing requirements

Part of Growth and Infrastructure Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 27th November 2012.

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Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 11:00 am, 27th November 2012

I accept your reproof, Mr Howarth. I will of course be delighted to meet the hon. Gentleman’s constituents to try to understand their concerns.

To return to the right hon. Gentleman’s amendment, I want to be clear that the rural exception sites policy is extremely important, but he has framed his amendment in a rather broader sense and it does not have merit with regard to the conservation areas and other sites. We are about to have that broader debate. I accept however that there are particular circumstances with rural exception sites. I will not be able to encourage my hon. Friends to accept his amendment now, but I am absolutely open to hearing further arguments and to having further discussions to see whether I can understand why I am wrong and the right hon. Gentleman is right about how it will operate within the particular circumstances of national parks. We want to protect such communities and their ability to provide housing for local people. I encourage him to have that discussion with me and with officials, and I hope that, on that basis, he will withdraw his amendment.