In Parliament

You can read Theresa's latest speeches and appearances in Parliament below.

 

Examination of Witnesses | Neighbourhood Planning Bill | Public Bill Committees

Q Obviously the key concern that has been raised by some of the campaign groups, such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is that local authorities are being driven to propose green belt development because they cannot meet their targets and they cannot make the duty to co-operate work. So in order to avoid the risk of having their local plan rejected altogether they are putting forward green-belt or greenfield developments. What is the incentive on a local authority—on the other end of a duty to co-operate —to accept somebody else’s housing targets? I do not see how the duty to co-operate can work effectively if you are saying that local authorities have to somehow persuade their neighbours to accept their housing needs. I would be grateful if you could explain how the duty to co-operate is supposed to work.

Examination of Witnesses | Neighbourhood Planning Bill | Public Bill Committees

would very much like to ask Matt Thomson about one of the points made in your recent report, “Safe Under Us?” about housing development on the green belt. Obviously our planning rules say that such development should be made only in very exceptional cases, but I am alarmed by the research that CPRE and the London Green Belt Council have done, which seems to suggest that inspectors are now deeming general housing pressure and housing need to be sufficiently exceptional to justify green belt development. Could you expand on that?

Examination of Witnesses | Neighbourhood Planning Bill | Public Bill Committees

Part of this has been covered by John Mann’s questions, but just to be clear, it seems to me there are far fewer neighbourhood plans in big cities than elsewhere. It would be useful to understand from you what you think the main cause of that is. Is it because it is very difficult to identify a community small enough to be viable for a neighbourhood plan within a bigger urban areaQ ?

Examination of Witnesses | Neighbourhood Planning Bill | Public Bill Committees

I possibly take a slightly different view from my colleague of newts and bats. There is some anxiety about the Bill, probably based on a misunderstanding of what the changes on pre-commencement conditions actually involve, so this discussion is very helpful from that point of view. I have constituents who are keen to see local authorities retain the power to ensure that proper surveys are done in relation to wildlife and archaeological heritage. From what I understand from the debate on Second Reading and from what you have said today, the planning authorities will retain the power to impose conditions of that kind; there will just be a change in how that is done to ensure that it involves the developer at an earlier stage and does not necessarily have to happen right at the start, before the whole process has begun.

Neighbourhood Planning Bill | Next Steps in Leaving the European Union | Commons debates

Finding a way to build the new homes we need while ensuring that we safeguard our green spaces and protect the character and quality of life in our urban and suburban neighbourhoods is one of the biggest challenges we face in modern Britain. We clearly have to respond to the concerns of the many young people who are finding it difficult to buy or rent the homes they want in the places where they want to live. In my view, however, it is also crucial that we do all we can to protect our open spaces, which play such an important role in the towns and cities of this great country of ours. As an MP representing a constituency that includes substantial areas of green-belt land, I am very much aware of how important it is to maintain full green-belt protection. I welcome the fact that the Bill is entirely consistent with that aim. It is crucial to prevent the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, to conserve wildlife habitats and to provide crucial opportunities for outdoor health and sporting activities.

Neighbourhood Planning Bill | Next Steps in Leaving the European Union | Commons debates

Finding a way to build the new homes we need while ensuring that we safeguard our green spaces and protect the character and quality of life in our urban and suburban neighbourhoods is one of the biggest challenges we face in modern Britain. We clearly have to respond to the concerns of the many young people who are finding it difficult to buy or rent the homes they want in the places where they want to live. In my view, however, it is also crucial that we do all we can to protect our open spaces, which play such an important role in the towns and cities of this great country of ours. As an MP representing a constituency that includes substantial areas of green-belt land, I am very much aware of how important it is to maintain full green-belt protection. I welcome the fact that the Bill is entirely consistent with that aim. It is crucial to prevent the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, to conserve wildlife habitats and to provide crucial opportunities for outdoor health and sporting activities.