House of Commons Debates 15 July 2010

REGIONAL SPATIAL STRATEGIES

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con): What recent representations he has received on the effects on local authorities of the abolition of regional spatial strategies. [8522]

The Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Greg Clark): I have received a large number of letters and e-mails, the vast majority of which have welcomed the end of top-down targets and the return of planning decisions to local communities so that they can shape their own areas.

Harriett Baldwin: I thank the Minister on behalf of residents in West Worcestershire. I can assure him that councillors in my local area feel the same way. What advice would he give to them about developers who are now taking things that were rejected on the basis of the Pickles letter to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate?

Greg Clark: The Planning Inspectorate has received guidance that the policy of the Government is clear and needs to be taken into account in planning appeals.

Mr Speaker: Order. It is best on the whole to refer not to the Pickles letter but to the Secretary of State's letter, and that is I think how we will do it.