MP fights to give local people more say

Local people must be given more priority in planning decisions, Natascha Engel MP has argued.

Questioning the Minister of State for Communities and Local Government, the MP for North East Derbyshire, Ms Engel, asked whether the department would ensure that the views of local people would be given priority in large-scale housing developments.

Whilst Ms Engel agreed that North East Derbyshire was in need of new homes, she continued: “The issue is that local people want to have a say in where those houses go, but their opinions and the decisions of the local planning authority are being overruled by the Government’s planning inspector. This is the opposite of localism.”

Campaigners in Wingerworth were left in shock after rejected plans to build 51 homes on a greenfield site off Nethermoor Road and Deerlands Road were approved on appeal.

The same situation arose in Winsick when, despite the plans being thrown out by North East Derbyshire District Council after a two year campaign, a government inspector overturned the decision and gave planning permission for 160 houses behind Mansfield Road.

Killamarsh Residents Against Greenfield Erosion (RAGE) are in the process of campaigning against plans to build 350 homes on part of the former Westthorpe Colliery site.

Ms Engel added that she hopes that the group’s views are given top priority when a decision on the planning application is made.

View the Hansard of the debate here

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