Agenda item

Motions on Notice

To receive Motions on Notice.


Councillor Deering proposed a motion on the planning reforms set out by the Government in the 2020 White Paper “Planning for the Future”. Councillor Goodeve seconded the motion and reserved her right to speak.


Councillor Goldspink supported the motion. She said that the government consulted on their plans last year and the Council had worked hard on sending a response. She trusted the government to listen to the responses of the consultation but they had ignored them. She said that if further lobbying was needed to get the government to listen, she would be supportive.


Councillor Deering said he was satisfied that the government was in the right place but had just pitched their proposals wrong. He said that in 2010, the government inherited the lowest house building levels since the 1920s and the Labour led Croydon Council established a group “Brick by Brick” to focus on house building but did not build a single house. The government was investing in housing market and built 243,000 homes last year and 1.8 million since 2010.


Councillor Haysey felt the wrong language was being used, she said that the government was listening and she had had many conversations with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government but local authorities just needed to be heard. She said that there needed to be a ‘carrot and stick’ approach so developers produce what they promise.


Councillor Wilson said the government had promised 200,000 starter homes in 2010 and none had been built.


Councillor Goodeve highlighted that the district was currently overachieving in its housing targets. The district had a District Plan in place and felt the Planning Inspectorate should have more respect for it. She said the Council would be lobbying the MP to be listened too.


Councillor Bell said that there was more than one MP in East Herts and asked if all three MPs could be lobbied.


The substantive motion being put to the meeting, and a vote taken, it was declared CARRIED. 


RESOLVED - The Council notes the announcement in the recent Queen’s Speech that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is to proceed with the reforms to the planning system set out in the 2020 White Paper “Planning for the Future”.


The Council responded to the Government’s consultation in October 2020, and regrets that the Government is pushing ahead with some reforms with which the Council previously expressed concerns, including:


-    the proposal to grant automatic outline permission in certain circumstances;

-    more centralised decision making, which would reduce local democratic input to planning decisions; and

-    failure to acknowledge important local contexts.


The Council is concerned that the White Paper as published last year would lead to less local control and less accountability about planning decisions which fundamentally affect the lives of local residents and hopes that the Government will listen to the responses of this Council and others to the White Paper when forming its new legislation.


The Council urges the Leader and the Executive Member for Planning and Growth to work with stakeholders including the Town and Country Planning Association to continue to lobby Government to listen to the responses to the White Paper consultation and alter the reforms before they appear on the statute book.


Supporting documents: