SIR NICHOLAS’S INTERVENTIONS IN THE ADJOURNMENT DEBATE ON NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING

4th July 2017

Interventions by Sir Nicholas Soames MP in a Short Adjournment Debate on Neighbourhood Planning.

I thank my hon. Friend for all his work on neighbourhood planning, and particularly for supporting and advising me in Mid Sussex, which is in exactly the position he describes. Does he agree that all the hard work and effort of our constituents in putting together these plans, voluntarily, needs to be reflected and recognised, as our right hon. Friend the Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark) originally intended?

My right hon. Friend makes an excellent point. The thing we need to remember is that the people who have put these plans together are all volunteers—they all do this work for nothing and they all do it for the future of their village. I shall say a little more about that in a moment.

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I welcome my hon. Friend to his new job and look forward to working with him. Does he agree that what is extremely important is, as my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (John Howell) said, that although many developers behave perfectly properly, there are others who game the system? That is extremely prevalent in Mid Sussex. May I ask the Minister whether or not what he has just said will protect the district council and all those who work to secure their neighbourhood plans in the public inquiry, which will continue in late July?

The Government are absolutely committed to neighbourhood planning. As the new Minister, I am completely committed to it. We want this to work, and it is important for the communities that we represent. I hope that that demonstrates to my right hon. Friend the strength of feeling in the Government when it comes to supporting neighbourhood planning.

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Click here for whole debate