Theresa Villiers MP has taken a leading public role in challenging the Government’s proposals on planning reform. She believes that a number of the measures outline in last year’s Planning for the Future White Paper should be dropped. She is also pressing for reduction in housing targets which are putting so much pressure on councils to accept inappropriate dense tall development.
Theresa is coordinating backbench opposition to law changes which could see democratic input removed in areas designated as “growth zones” with developments nodded through without going through the usual planning application process which allows people to have their say in what is built in their neighbourhood.
The Barnet MP recently collected over 60 MP signatures on a letter to the Prime Minister asking that any new law on planning is published in draft first so that it can be subjected to rigorous scrutiny and amendment before it is presented to Parliament. This was written up in the Daily Telegraph here.
Theresa also arranged for a group of concerned backbench MPs to meet Michael Gove a few days after his appointment as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Speaking after the meeting in Parliament, Theresa said: “This was a positive and friendly meeting. The new Secretary of State expressed some sympathy with the concerns we expressed about current pressure for development and the harm that could be caused by some of the White Paper reform proposals.”
“I welcome Michael Gove's willingness to look afresh at planning matters. He also promised to engage with us and other backbench colleagues very worried about overdevelopment. But we still have a long way to go before we can be sure that the Government’s planning reforms are on the right track. So I will continue to campaign for the right outcome to protect our quality of life and our local environment in Barnet.”