The Petition of residents of Puriton, Somerset,
Declares that the Petitioners believe that the proposed redevelopment of the old Royal Ordnance Factory site is unacceptable on grounds of air pollution, noise, village access, visual impact and the overall character of the development.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons take note of the plans in advance of consideration by the local planning authority.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Official Report, 7 November 2013; Vol. 570, c. 522.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is aware that a planning application has been submitted to Sedgemoor District Council in respect of the above development.
Local authorities have the statutory responsibility for considering proposals for development in their areas. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the statutory development plan for the area unless material considerations indicate otherwise. These material considerations include national planning policy. Local authorities will also take into account representations from the local community on the planning merits of the proposal.
The National Planning Policy Framework makes it clear that an application for renewable or low carbon energy development should only be approved if the impact is—or can be made—acceptable. To help implement the framework, the Department for Communities and Local Government published on 29 July new planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy, setting out clearly that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities.
Through a series of reforms the Government are making the planning process more accessible to local communities because planning works best when communities themselves have the opportunity to influence the decisions that affect their lives. Due to the Secretary of State’s role in the planning system it would not be appropriate to comment further on the application.