Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cornwall needs its own National Planning Policy Framework

MK has just released a press statement from the most recent meeting in the St Austell and Newquay constituency. It is as follows:

At the most recent meeting of Mebyon Kernow members in the St Austell and Newquay constituency, Party Leader Cllr Dick Cole demanded greater local control on planning matters.

In a wide-ranging meeting, held at St Dennis, Cllr Cole pledged that MK would continue to campaign for Cornwall to have full democratic control over the planning system. He told the meeting:

“Politicians and communities in Cornwall have very limited say over planning. The planning system is dysfunctional and central government’s ‘presumption in favour’ of development in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) means the document is a ‘developers’ charter.’ It has certainly led to much unchecked and damaging development.”

He also (i) hit out at how central government had put in place an inspection regime that had forced Cornwall to adopt a much higher housing target in its Local Plan than deemed appropriate by the majority of local residents, and (ii) condemned central government for rewriting “affordable housing” policies, undermining the very provision of proper local-needs housing.

Cllr Cole added that Mebyon Kernow was responding to a consultation on the Housing and Planning Bill, which is making further unwelcome changes to the NPPF.

Looking ahead to the future, Cllr Cole repeated MK’s call for a National Assembly of Cornwall.

He said:“If we had a National Assembly, all decisions about planning and housing would be taken in Cornwall . This would include the production of a Cornish National Planning Policy Framework to replace the NPPF produced by central government, allowing policies and targets to be agreed locally without interference from Whitehall .

“Planning decisions would be taken by local councils and any appeal process would then be controlled by the National Assembly – so that inspectors from Bristol no longer over-rule the views of local communities and their elected representatives.”

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