The Petition of residents of the Sedgefield constituency,
Declares that the Petitioners object to the over-development of the village of Middleton St George and further declares that the Petitioners believe that the current planning applications are not sustainable and will have a catastrophic impact on the infrastructure of the village.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reassess the planning applications for the development of Middleton St George.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Phil Wilson, Official Report, 4 March 2015; Vol. 593, c. 1045.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:
The Government consider that local plans and neighbourhood plans are at the heart of the planning system. They are the primary basis for identifying what development is needed in an area, deciding where it should go and dealing with planning applications. By identifying sites in its local plan, following consultation with local communities, Council’s can guide development to the most suitable locations, supported by the right infrastructure. This will ensure that local communities get the right development, in the right place, at the right time, reflecting the principles of sustainable development. The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that these plans should, as far as possible, represent a collective vision for the area.
Local plans involve communities in determining what and where development is appropriate. They must be subject to at least two opportunities for public comment and neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.
Middleton St George lies within the area of Darlington Core Strategy which was adopted on the 6 May 2011.The Making and Growing Places Development Plan Document (expected to be published later in 2015) contains detailed development plan policies and site allocations for the area.
The Localism Act gave communities a new right to undertake neighbourhood planning, in addition to existing opportunities for involvement in planning. Middleton St George Parish Council is using these powers to prepare a neighbourhood plan. A neighbourhood plan that is successful at examination and supported by the community at local referendum can then be adopted as part of the development plan for the area. Under our plan-led system this gives people real influence over the shape and quality of development in their neighbourhood.