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National Planning Policy Framework: Neighbourhood Planning

Volume 744: debated on Monday 22 January 2024

19. What assessment he has made of the role of neighbourhood planning in the national planning policy framework. (901081)

The Government recognise the time and commitment that communities put into neighbourhood plans. Our recent updates to the national planning policy framework mean that neighbourhood plans meeting their identified housing requirement are now better protected from speculative development, including through the additional reforms coming in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023.

My Lib Dem-run borough council still does not have an up-to-date local plan. Every day that passes means that we are open to speculative housing developments without the right infrastructure such as GP practices and roads and those kind of things. My communities are fantastic at producing neighbourhood plans, but they are ridden over roughshod in places such as Desford, where housing has been put in where the community does not want it. Will the Minister look at increasing the priority given to neighbourhood plans when communities and local planning authorities do not have an up-to-date local plan?

It is hugely frustrating when local plans are not in place. As my hon. Friend indicated, in his area the Lib Dem council has failed to do that, which is letting residents down. There have been changes as a result of the national planning policy framework giving additional protection through neighbourhood plans, but district councils and those with planning responsibilities need to get their plans in place.