Planning disaster just keeps getting worse.”

Parliamentary Planning Enquiry Ignored by Conservatives on Cheshire East Council

 

The Parliamentary Communities and Local Government Committee is conducting an inquiry into the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF establishes new government rules on planning that include a presumption in favour of development on green field sites. The Committee has stated that evidence from local government scrutiny committees is particularly welcome.

 

In response to a question by Labour Group Leader David Newton, the Conservative Leader of the Council said that Cheshire East Council didn’t feel it necessary to put a response to the Parliamentary Committee because local Conservatives were regularly speaking to Ministers about planning issues.

 

David Newton said, “Here is a Parliamentary Committee asking for evidence on the impact of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Conservatives on Cheshire East Council won’t even deign to respond. Speculative housing applications are a major headache for residents of Cheshire. These problems could be solved by changes to the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework. I am staggered at the arrogance of the Conservatives of Cheshire East Council in refusing to assist the Parliamentary Committee examining the operation of the NPPF. The Conservatives seem to think that everything is under control. They have been saying for years that they are talking with Ministers and everything will be all right, but the planning disaster just keeps getting worse.”

 

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “I am dismayed that Cheshire East Council is not assisting the Parliamentary Committee by highlighting the terrible impact the NPPF is having on towns in Cheshire East. I did submit my own response to the Parliamentary Committee and, following my intervention, so did Sandbach Town Council. The traffic in Sandbach is getting worse and the schools are full. What is going to happen when thousands of new homes are built in Sandbach?  The Conservatives need to wake up to the problems caused by their policies of encouraging private enterprises to build on Greenfield sites.”

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commented 2014-06-19 10:37:46 +0100
Good to see that you as a Labour Group have taken the opportunity to contribute to the select committee’s enquiry into the NPPF and shocking that the ruling group at CEC decided not too. The independently chaired select committee process is one of the real successes of Government in the last 30 or so years and to ignore the chance to contribute to an enquiry in an area of such local significance is a dereliction in my opinion.

I work in the architecture/planning/regeneration field professionally and submitted my own comments on the NPPF in a joint submission with Esther Kurland of Urban Design London. Our report focusses on the design and placemaking aspects of planning which have been affected badly by the reorganisation and this can be read on the parliament.uk website here:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/communities-and-local-government-committee/operation-of-the-national-planning-policy-framework/written/9693.html

Whilst I believe that we have to deliver new housing, it is VITAL that this is done in the right places, a well-designed and well-considered way and that communities are built, not just satellite adjuncts that are poorly served by existing infrastructure. My worry about the NPPF is that it leaves the door ajar for developers to come in and make a fast buck, a fast buck supplemented by the Government in the form of Help to Buy as well!
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