Coalville: Labour motion on right to object to planning applications gets full backing - with Hugglescote estate used as example

  Posted: 08.09.21 at 22:58 by Coalville Nub News

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North West Leicestershire District Council has passed unanimously a Labour motion to protect the right of communities to object to individual planning applications - with a planned Ashby housing estate used as an example.

The motion was proposed by Deputy Labour Leader, John Legrys, at Tuesday’s full council meeting.

The motion states: “This Council believes planning works best when developers and the local community work together to shape local areas and deliver necessary new homes - and therefore calls on the Government to protect the right of communities to object to individual planning applications”.

Coalville councillor Legrys warned that councillors and local residents should be concerned because: “Firstly - the Westminster Government has published proposals to reform the planning system - and secondly - the new National Planning Policy Framework is already making it more difficult for people to object to planning applications.”

The Government’s recent Planning for the Future White Paper proposes that new Local Plans would have to allocate land to three zones - growth, renewal or protection.

Land zoned for growth will receive outline planning permission with no need for consideration by a planning committee and land zoned for renewal would have a “presumption in favour of development”.

Cllr LeGrys gave the examples of the huge areas of land at Hugglescote and Ashby’s Money Hill which were designated for development in the last Local Plan.

Councillor Dave Bigby

Until now, individual planning applications have had to be submitted and considered by the Council’s Planning Committee with the public being able to raise objections.

He said: “Imagine now how our residents would feel if a plan to zone land, made 15 or even 30 years ago, took precedence over their views today?"

Ashby Labour Councillor, Dave Bigby, quoted from the Conservative-led Local Government Association’s submission on the White Paper and said: “The future focus of local engagement in planning will be at the Local Plan-making stage.

"Communities will not be able to influence individual applications as they do now.

"The proposals will lead to a loss of local democracy, with councillors and communities being cut out of the process and a reduced ability to have a say on individual planning applications.”

Coalville councillor John LeGrys

He was also concerned about the Government’s proposed widening of Permitted Development Rights and again quoted the LGA. “The Permitted Development route cuts the local community out of the decision-making process completely.”

The motion is identical to one passed by the House of Commons in June with support from all political parties, though the majority of Conservative MPs abstained at that time.

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