5 Mar 2008 : Column 29P

5 Mar 2008 : Column 29P

Petition

Wednesday 5 March 2008

Observations

Communities and Local Government

Planning (Bedfordshire)

The Petition of residents of Aspley Guise village,

Declares that the South East Region is seeking to take over planning authority for Aspley Guise which is part of Mid Bedfordshire. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to protect their democratic rights for the future of their village to be planned through the proper process of the East of England Plan and not dictated by a neighbouring Region, the South East; and further urges the Secretary of State to instruct the Government Office for the South East to remove any proposed housing numbers for Aspley Guise in any future revision of the South East Plan and to make arrangements for a future review of the East of England Plan to include consideration of any new housing development in Aspley Guise.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 30P

And the Petitioners remain, etc —[Presented by Mrs. Nadine Dorries , Official Report, 23 January 2008; Vol. 470, c. 1591 .] [P000108]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

The Secretary of State acknowledges the concerns of the petitioners regarding the recommendations of the Panel Report into the South East Plan in relation to the future expansion of Milton Keynes.

As the process of producing the South East Plan is bound by regulation and propriety guidance, which seeks to put all interested parties on an even footing, I am unable to discuss the merits of the Panel's report, or take any representations or comments on board at this stage. I am sure you will understand that these propriety matters apply in particular to any comments related to particular localities or development proposals.

The position in respect of the South East Plan is that Government is currently considering its response to the recommendations in the Panel Report. The next stage in the process is the publication, for public consultation, of the Government's own Proposed Changes to the draft strategy. This will provide an opportunity for interested parties to make further representations—we are aiming at publishing the Proposed Changes in the summer.


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