Housing and Planning — [Sir Charles Walker in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 3rd March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough 2:30 pm, 3rd March 2020

My hon. Friend is right. Broadband is one of the benefits that people seek from new development. Mandates are one potential way to secure such benefits. The broader change that I would like to be made is the removal of all restrictions that depend on section 106 and for the system to be replaced with something that is more fit for purpose.

Beyond the need to create a better system for contributions, we need to give councils other tools to create better quality and more planned development. In my constituency, there is an old rubber factory that is two minutes’ walk from a mainline station, which is only an hour from London. It is the perfect site to build on, but despite the fact that the council gave planning permission in 2004, nothing has happened because there is nothing to disincentivise the owners from simply sitting on their hands. We need to learn from the USA and from other countries in Europe, and give councils the power to buy land, to grant themselves planning permission and to take more of a leading role in development. The current situation is a legal minefield, so I believe we should reform the Land Compensation Act 1961.