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Volume 629: debated on Tuesday 17 October 2017


Tuesday 17 October 2017


Communities and Local Government

The Redwell fields, Wellingborough

The petition of residents of Wellingborough,

Declares that the petitioners strongly object to the building of a 3G sports pitch on Redwell Field open 8am until 10pm weekdays and 8am until 8pm weekends; further that the location is wrong; further that our field is for recreation, dog walking, wildlife, free football and cricket, running and other sports; further that it is a place where families relax in a quiet pleasant residential area; further that the planned 3G sports pitch will mean that the petitioners’ children have nowhere to play; further that the residents will suffer noise, traffic, light pollution and other inconvenience; further that the pitch will spoil the character of the area; and further that the park should not be spoiled.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to urge Wellingborough Council to reject the planning application of a 3G sports pitch on Redwell Field.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Peter Bone, Official Report, 13 September 2017; Vol. 628, c. 947.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

My role in the planning system is quasi-judicial, and I am not able to comment on specific planning cases for reasons of propriety. Local authorities, working with their communities, are responsible for deciding the best locations for new sports and recreational facilities in their areas.

When they receive planning applications, local authorities should determine them in line with the Local Plan and all other material considerations. These considerations are likely to include any relevant views and evidence expressed by local people, an assessment of all the potential impacts and planning consequences of the proposal; and the policies set out in our National Planning Policy Framework.

The Framework, for instance, explains that planning policies should be based on robust and up-to-date assessments of the needs for open space, sports and recreation facilities and opportunities for new provision. It makes clear that existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land should not be built on unless an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown them to be surplus to requirements, or the loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location.

The Framework also sets out that noise arising from new development should not give rise to significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life and that the impact of light pollution from artificial light on local amenity should be limited. All developments that generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or a Transport Assessment.

I hope that the Petitioners and the local community have taken every opportunity to comment on what has been proposed.


Glenfield Children’s Heart Unit

The petition of residents of Harborough, Oadby and Wigston,

Declares that the petitioners want Glenfield Children's Heart Unit to be retained; further that this is a high performing unit and it is vital to retain such a service in the East Midlands.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges NHS England to keep Glenfield Children's Heart Unit open.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Neil O'Brien, Official Report, 12 September 2017; Vol. 628, c. 811.]


Observations from the Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr Philip Dunne):

The observations are as follows:

Specialised services, such as those for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), need to be planned on a regional and national basis.

NHS England has run a national consultation on its proposals for CHD service change and expects to make a decision at its board meeting in November 2017. This follows NHS England’s assessment of all CHD providers, including those in the East Midlands, in July 2016.

NHS England is planning for the future to ensure our CHD services are the best in the world.

NHS England’s proposals do not involve the closure of the CHD service at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Rather its proposals for the Trust are focused on the moving of surgery and interventional cardiology only, with the Trust continuing to provide Level 2 specialist medical care for CHD patients. If implemented, these proposals would still provide local access for the vast majority of patients with CHD, who do not require any surgical or interventional procedures.

If it is decided that changes need to be made, these will be managed carefully and carried out in partnership with current service providers, and with patient groups and advocates. NHS England will keep patients and their families informed every step of the way.

It is important that all parts of the NHS work together to ensure best outcomes for adults and children with CHD.