Skip to main content

Localism (Infrastructure Projects)

Volume 597: debated on Monday 29 June 2015

11. What steps his Department is taking to ensure that localism is prioritised in the decision-making process for nationally significant infrastructure projects. (900606)

The nationally significant infrastructure planning system strikes a fair and effective balance between two important needs: the national need for infrastructure to underpin growth and sustainability, and the need to address community concerns and maximise local benefits from investment.

I thank the Minister for that non-answer. I would like him to explain to the residents of West Lancashire why, despite the Government’s claim to support localism in the planning process, permission was granted to dump hazardous waste for 20 more years at Whitemoss landfill, for which there was no demonstrable need, either local or regional, and which was opposed by thousands of local residents, the borough council, the county council and me as the local MP. Surely this means—

Order. The hon. Lady can preserve the unexpurgated version of her question for the autumn evenings that lie ahead.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank the hon. Lady for her gracious comments. As she probably realises, that planning application is still within the six-week period during which a decision can be challenged. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on a specific scheme, owing to the quasi-judicial nature of planning.

23. Many of my constituents feel that localism is failing them when they oppose large-scale wind farms and solar farms. Will the Minister consider a minimum buffer zone between such projects and settlements, which would give my constituents some comfort? (900618)

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. I am sure he will appreciate that local communities absolutely have their say under the new wind turbine regime.