In response to Government proposals for a relaxation on planning rules, Natascha Engel, Member of Parliament for North East Derbyshire raised her concerns in Parliament about protection of greenfield sites.
In a question to the Secretary of State Natascha Engel asked:
“How does the Secretary of State propose to prevent developers from using this as another opportunity to build on greenfield land—not green belt, but greenfield—instead of being forced to build on the banks of brownfield land for which they already have planning permission?”
Commenting Natascha Engel said:
“I recently called on the government to be more strategic in its home-building policies to provide much-needed jobs and housing. This was not what I had in mind.
“This new scheme concerns me for a number of reasons. For planners and developers it is confusing and another change in the rules in an important part of our economy that needs certainty and clarity.
“Allowing people to build bigger conservatories will, in itself, not kick-start the economy. Only a change in the government’s economic policy will do that. My office is already getting calls from concerned neighbours worried that the extension next door which was previously rejected will now just be built. This is a recipe for many more neighbour disputes.
“The government is allowing developers who are already hoarding banks of brownfield land not to build on them and instead to build on more lucrative greenfield land.
“North East Derbyshire, with its many villages and its proximity to Chesterfield and Sheffield is particularly attractive for developers but residents have a right to protect their precious green spaces.”
“On top of this, the Conservative-led government is allowing developers to renege on their affordable-housing commitments in the name of boosting home building. Whilst we have a housing shortage, we need homes that people can afford to live in. This policy announcement means that thousands more people across North East Derbyshire now won’t ever have a chance of moving into their own place.”