The Humble Petition of the residents of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,
That the Petitioners believe that proposed Bedfordia Farms planning application for high intensity chicken farm should be refused on the grounds of increased pollution, foul odour, effect on local house prices, increased traffic volume; and further that similar farms have a poor record on animal welfare.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your hon. House urges the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Communities and Local Government, Northamptonshire County Council and East Northamptonshire Council to take in account the concerns of the petitioners and refuse to grant the planning application for a high intensity chicken farm to Bedordia Farms.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.—[Presented by Mr Peter Bone , Official Report, 12 March 2019; Vol. 656, c. 314 .]
Observations from the Minister for Housing (Kit Malthouse):
East Northamptonshire Council is responsible for the day-to-day planning in their area. The Government’s policy is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of a local planning authority unless it is necessary to do so. This is because local authority councillors are elected to represent the views of local people and, in the main, it is these councillors who are in the best position to decide whether a development should go ahead. In determining a planning application the local planning authority are required to have regard to all material considerations including the development plan, national policies and views expressed by third parties. It is, of course, for local planning authorities to provide whatever justification that it may be appropriate to give for their decisions and procedures.
Should the Secretary of State receive a request to call in a planning application, he would only begin to consider if call-in is appropriate once the planning application has been determined by the local planning authority and they are minded to approve. The Secretary of State will, in general, only consider the use of his call-in powers if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. Such cases may include, for example, those which in his opinion:
may conflict with national policies on important matters;
may have significant long-term impact on economic growth and meeting housing needs across a wider area than a single local authority;
could have significant effects beyond their immediate locality;
give rise to substantial cross-boundary or national controversy;
raise significant architectural and urban design issues; or
may involve the interests of national security or of foreign Governments.