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Planning Policy (Bournemouth)

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

I present a petition of more than 4,000 signatures from the people of Bournemouth, East, who are concerned about the pace of development and the effect that that is having on the character of our town. I apologise for the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, West (Sir John Butterfill) who, I understand, is also collecting signatures.

Our concern is not with developers per se, but with the limited powers of local authorities to ensure appropriate and managed development. Powers have shifted from the town hall to the South West regional assembly, which is imposing unrealistic development targets—a situation exacerbated over the past four years by a Liberal Democrat council that has failed to resist those targets, allowing more than 1,000 dwellings to be built every single year.

I hope that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will reconsider the impact that present planning policy is having on our town, introduce legislation to protect back gardens from overdevelopment, place more emphasis on supporting off-street parking facilities and ensure that Bournemouth’s green belt and the flood plains are not threatened.

To lie upon the Table.