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Lib Dem Councillor proposes motion on Governments planning reforms

September 22, 2011 10:21 AM

County Councillor David Bill will propose a motion next Wednesday, urging the County Council to strongly object to the Government's proposed changes to the planning system which threatens the countryside and other green spaces valued by local communities.

David said: "it is clear that the proposed reforms to the planning system pose a serious danger to local communities. Both the Daily Telegraph and the National Trust are running high profile campaigns to highlight the impact of the changes.

I feel it is crucial that the County Council takes a robust stance on this matter; we must ensure that we show our solidarity with the concerns of local people and preserve the integrity of the plan led approach. This gives certainty to local communities and ensures that the views of local people are taken into account when plans are being drawn up. The National Planning Framework contains a default presumption in favour of development, which is tantamount to forcing councils to say 'yes' to virtually every planning application.

We are not opposed to streamlining the decision making process or reducing thousands of pages of planning guidance to councils. We simply oppose a national planning document being able to override a local plan.

We spent years dealing with top down targets from the last Labour government which resulted in Leicester and Leicestershire already having plans in the pipeline for 80,400 new houses. The NPPF could lead to even higher housing numbers and I don't want to see the present government simply move from top down targets to top down frameworks."

1. The 80,400 homes is the target from the Regional plan for the period 2006 to 2026

2. Whilst the Regional Plan is to be abandoned due the Localism Bill, this figure represents the basis of most local development frameworks and housing needs assessments.