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Regional Spatial Strategies

Volume 511: debated on Thursday 10 June 2010

As I said in my answer a few moments ago, we and, I think, many people in the country regard regional spatial strategies as undemocratic, bypassing local authorities. They are based on artificial regional boundaries and, by imposing on local people, have increased antagonism towards development. In other words, they have not worked.

Regional spatial strategies were a stick that was used to beat local authorities, but what will my right hon. and hon. Friends do on incentives? Do Ministers on the Treasury Bench still intend to allow those local authorities that encourage housing applications and grant planning applications for housing to retain the council tax receipts in respect of that new housing for a period, thus giving local councillors and authorities an incentive to bring forward housing schemes and new housing?

I could not put it any better myself. That is exactly our intention. This shows that if one works with the grain of human nature by, instead of bullying people and telling them what to do, allowing them to share in the success, then—miracle of miracles—we might have people who support development of all kinds in this country.