Jeremy Quin, the newly elected MP for Horsham, makes no mention of planning in his article ‘Jeremy Quin: now the hard work begins’ (WSCT May 14, 2015).
In marked contrast, Nick Herbert MP acknowledges in his article on the same page - ‘Nick Herbert: honour to be re-elected for South Downs’ that ‘planning will remain an issue’ in his constituency, which includes the southern part of Horsham District.
However, notwithstanding Mr Quin’s omission, planning is a significant issue for communities in Mr Quin’s constituency too, as for example at Barns Green, Billingshurst, Broadbridge Heath, Slinfold and Southwater where developers are seeking to gain permissions on countryside sites, which have not been allocated for development in the emerging HDPF.
This is because the planning regime created by the previous Government has undermined the council’s role as a planning authority by empowering, encouraging and enabling developers to besiege villages with their speculative applications in expectation that the Planning Inspectorate will overturn any refusal by the council, irrespective of the concerns and objections of residents and parish councils.
Furthermore, the previous Government’s policies have made it easier for developers to seek and obtain reductions in payments for the provision of affordable homes and infrastructure.
Given that the Planning Inspectorate is subject to Ministerial control and that the policies, which are enforced by Inspectors, are made by Government, it would be helpful if Mr Quin were not only to publicly acknowledge that planning is a significant issue for communities in his constituency, but also to intercede on their behalf at Westminster.
Dr ROGER F. SMITH
For and on behalf of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Sussex (Horsham District), Bashurst Copse, Itchingfield
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