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Babergh Alliance of Parish & Town Councils

Comments on Topic: Government petition - Give communities back the right to decide where houses are built.

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Submitted by Paul
Government's Response

Local communities are not forced to accept large housing developments.Communities are consulted throughout the Local Plan process and on individualplanning applications.

The National Planning Policy Framework strongly encourages all local planningauthorities to get up-to-date Local Plans in place as soon as possible, inconsultation with the local community. Up-to-date Local Plans ensure thatcommunities get the right development, in the right place, at the right time,reflecting the principles of sustainable development. Through the White Paperwe are ensuring that every part of the country produces, maintains andimplements an up-to-date plan, yet with the flexibility for local areas todecide how to plan in a way that best meets their needs.

A wide section of the community should be proactively engaged so that LocalPlans, as far as possible, reflect a collective vision and a set of agreedpriorities for the sustainable development of the area, including thosecontained in any neighbourhood plans that have been made.

The Framework recognises the intrinsic character and beauty of thecountryside. That is why our proposals are focussed on development in built upareas.
We are also absolutely clear that Green Belt must be protected and that thereare other areas that local authorities must pursue first, such as brownfieldland and taking steps to increase density on urban sites. The Government iscommitted to maximising the use of brownfield land and has already embarked onan ambitious programme to bring brownfield land back into use.

We believe that developers should mitigate the impacts of development. Thisis vital to make it acceptable to the local community and to addresses thecumulative impact of development in an area. Both the Community InfrastructureLevy and Section 106 agreements can be used by local planning authorities tohelp fund supporting infrastructure and address the cumulative demand thatdevelopment places on infrastructure. Through the White Paper, the Governmentannounced that it will examine the options for reforming the existing system ofdeveloper contributions to see how this can be simplified, with furtherannouncements at Autumn Budget 2017.

The £2.3billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will deliver up to 100,000 newhomes by putting in the right infrastructure, in the right place, at the righttime. We expect the fund to be able to deliver a variety of types ofinfrastructure necessary to unlock housing growth in high demand areas.

There is nothing automatic about grants of planning permission where thereis not yet an up-to-date Local Plan. It is still up to local decision-makers tointerpret and apply national policy to local circumstances, alongside the viewsof the local community. Applications should not be approved if the adverseimpacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits; or ifspecific policies in the Framework indicate that development should berestricted.

Communities are also able to make representations on individual planningapplications and in response to most appeals by the applicant against a localauthority decision. Interested parties can raise all the issues that concernthem during the planning process, in the knowledge that the decision maker willtake their views into account, along with other material considerations, inreaching a decision.

We therefore do not believe a right of appeal against the grant of planningpermission for communities is necessary. It is considered that communitiesalready have plenty of opportunity to have their say on local planning issues,and it would be wrong for them to be able to delay a development at the lastminute, through a community right of appeal, when any issues they would raiseat that point could have been raised and should have been considered during theearlier planning application process.

Department for Communities and Local Government

To see the response online click:

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Submitted by Paul

In case you have'nt seen it I attach an extract from the Babergh website regarding neighborhood planning. There is significant text in the final paragraph which is below for ease of reference.

“[Babergh]requires a flexible approach to growth as the Government is now awarding funding through new homes delivery and it is the only way it will be able toprovide services in the future”

No surprise there then, except perhaps that they have actually said it!

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Submitted by Helen
I have signed this petition. Its only up to 21000ish which is surprising. The govt have given a bland response along the lines of it is expected that district councils will work with their communities - we've seen how well that works! Maybe something publicising this petition should be put onto parish websites to encourage people to sign.
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Submitted by Paul
I think the problem here is that people are not aware. I must have talked now to around 20 Parish and Town Councils from many parts of the country who all say the same thing as us.

I believe a broader campaign is needed.
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