Sheweth that the proposed redevelopment of the Rushden Hospital site for housing is unpopular, ill-advised and detrimental to the residents of Rushden; that over 25% of the residents of Rushden petitioned the House of Commons for a new outpatient facility in the town, the majority wanting the new facility on the Rushden hospital site; that the proposal to build housing on the site instead of an NHS facility is unacceptable and the impact on the surrounding roads of a large housing development and the density of the development and the proposed cut-through to the Greenacre Drive Estate is wholly detrimental to local residents.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to urge the Department of Health to withdraw the planning application and further urges him to request that the District Council of East Northamptonshire and the County Council and the Primary Care Trust work together to provide a suitable health facility on the site.
The proposal relating to the redevelopment of the Rushden Hospital site for housing is a local matter. East Northamptonshire District Council is responsible for the day to day planning control in its area, and the Secretary of State cannot comment on the merits or otherwise of any application. The Government's policy is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of a local planning authority unless it is necessary to do so. This is because local authority councillors are elected to represent the views of local people and, in the main, it is these councillors who are in the best position to decide whether a development should go ahead. It is, of course, for local planning authorities to provide whatever justification it may be appropriate to give for their decisions and procedures.
In determining a planning application the local planning authority who have full knowledge of the local circumstances, are required to have regard to all material considerations including the development plan, national policies and views expressed by third parties.
The Secretary of State might decide to call-in the application for his own determination if he considers that it raises matters of more than local importance. Such cases may include, for example, those which, in his opinion:
may conflict with national policies on important matters;
could have significant effects beyond their immediate locality;
give rise to substantial regional or national controversy;
raise significant architectural and urban design issues; or
may involve the interests of national security or of foreign Governments.
The Secretary of State's policy is to be very selective whether to call-in an application as it is possible that this proposal may, at some future date, come within his jurisdiction. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment on the issues raised in the petition.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to call on Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to take steps to prevent the storage of silt in Sunnyhurst Wood.
The decision on whether to take steps to prevent the storage of silt in Sunnyhurst Wood is a matter for the local planning authority. In taking its decision it would consider whether the removal of the silt could be deemed to be an engineering operation under the terms of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act and/or whether the storage of the material could be viewed as being a material change in the use of the land. If either case were true, the authority would then consider whether any of these activities had been granted a general permission under the Act, and was not subject to specific planning consent. In any case the matter would be for local determination.
Declares that they are concerned about plans by EDF Energy Renewables to develop a new wind farm at Withy Farm near Puriton; about the implications for local residents of noise from the turbines; the intrusive nature of the wind turbines and any possible additional power lines associated with them on the unique landscape of the Somerset Levels; and the potential damage to wildlife and their habitats.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take all possible steps to take the impact on local communities and the
landscape fully into account when considering plans submitted for the siting of wind farms and the provision of energy generation through renewable sources.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is aware that EDF Energy Renewables carried out a public consultation over the summer on proposals for a wind farm on agricultural land to the north of the village of Puriton in Somerset. He understands that EDF's publicly stated intention is to submit a planning application this autumn, but that no application has yet been submitted to the local planning authority.
The Government's policy is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of a local planning authority unless it is necessary to do so. This is because local authority councillors are elected to represent the views of local
people and, in the main, it is these councillors who are in the best position to decide whether a development should go ahead. Local planning authorities are required to determine planning applications in accordance with the statutory development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. They will have regard to all material considerations including the planning concerns raised by local people and national policy. The considerations set out in national policy include the potential impacts of proposed development on both local communities and the surrounding landscape.
The Secretary of State might decide to call-in an application for his own determination if he considers that it raises matters of more than local importance, but his policy is to be very selective about this. Applicants also have the right of appeal to the Secretary of State if an application is refused, or granted subject to conditions, or if it has not been determined within the specified period. As it is possible that this proposal may, at some future date, come within his jurisdiction, it would be inappropriate to comment on the issues raised in the petition.