Growth and Infrastructure Bill

Memorandum submitted by Lorraine Barter (GIB 09)

Observations

Clause 1

1.0 This proposes to remove the power of decision on planning applications from Local Planning Authorities (LPA) who, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, are poorly performing.

I do not agree that they are performing poorly and cannot see how the public can have access to this information to satisfy themselves that this information is accurate.

Here in Southampton I consider they do as good as job as they can with limited manpower.

This would be in conflict with the concept of localism. Transferring the act of decision to the Planning Inspectorate would take the process away from the local communities, those affected by the planning applications and decisions.

1.2 If a planning application is unable to be decided within a certain limits of time, currently applicants can go to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Clause 5

2.2 What evidence is there that reducing the agreed percentage of ‘affordable dwellings’ in housing developments would result in significant number of houses and flats built and the upturn in the fortunes of the construction industry?

2.5 There is no end date date for this proposal, however initially the review of Section 106 agreements were only to be allowed for those made before 2010 and to last for three years only.

Clause 7

3.0 Where is the evidence has been produced to support the idea that, allowing electronic communications becoming Permitted Development and so not requiring planning permission or scrutiny by the community, will produce growth in our economy ?.

Clause 21

7.0 The expansion of definition of nationally important business / commercial developments in order that the local communities lose their value, and their right to express their opinions is an cause of some worry and alarm

This would give seemingly arbitrary powers to the Secretary of State to take away from the local community, local councillors and Local Planning Authorities, the power of local decisions on ever more encreasing developments.

The number of such developments could be minimal but each one may give rise to alarm in any particular local community in the country

November 2012

Prepared 14th November 2012