I am very pleased to bring to the House a petition brought to me by the mayor of Midsomer Norton, among others, that has been signed by so many people, so numerous as the stars in the heaven and as the sand which is upon the seashore.
The petition states:
The Petition of residents of North East Somerset,
Declares that the Petitioners believe that while the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) are worthy, its implementation has led to negative consequences that were not anticipated; further that the Petitioners believe that when the Planning Committee of a local authority, which has a draft Core Strategy, refuses a planning application on strategic grounds, the application is often allowed on appeal by the Planning Inspector on the basis of non-strategic, site-by-site considerations; and further that the Petitioners believe that as a result, unsustainable development in the Somer Valley is being approved on sites often remote from employment and transport infrastructure, in accordance with the priorities and interests of developers rather than the carefully researched and democratically agreed plans of the Local Authority.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take the necessary steps to allow Planning Inspectors at appeal hearings to take into account and give great material weight to the cumulative effect of proposed developments; further that the House requests that the Government allows Planning Inspectors to interpret the sustainability principle in the NPPF on an area rather than merely on a site specific basis and further that the House requests the Government to take the necessary steps to allow Planning Inspectors at appeal hearings to give weight to the strategic proposals of a draft Core Strategy while it is going through the lengthy approval process.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.