Many constituents have written to me about planning and the Draft National Planning Policy Framework that was recently opened up to consultation. Please be assured that all your views will be conveyed by me to the Minister for Decentralisation and Planning Policy. We obviously want to protect the good quality of rural Rutland but we also need to accept that the county needs more houses.
Some of the issues I have been discussing with constituents include
- Quality and quantity: making sure that we do not end up with quantity in place of quality. Many constituents have made it clear that we need a framework document that does not focus too heavily on the need to build houses (quantity) over the need to protect the countryside and our most beautiful rural areas (quality).
- The importance of localism: making sure that planning decisions can be taken at a local level and not overridden centrally in favour of unwelcome development, which has previously been the case. Is it right, for instance, that inspectors should be able to make a judgement based on ‘emerging policy’ rather than current guidelines?
-Clarity and certainty about policy: making sure the spirit, implications and wording of the new framework are clearly comprehensible and easily for local authorities to adapt to their own planning frameworks.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is currently consulting on the draft framework, with submissions being accepted until 17 October. I will continue to forward contributions from constituents on to those reviewing the consultation feedback to help we get the right solutions in place for planning in Rutland & Melton.