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Growth and Infrastructure Bill's Second Reading

06 November 2012

MPs from the Conservative and Labour parties drew from the RTPI's briefing during the Second Reading of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill yesterday.

In what was an informed and informative debate, Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum defended the planning system from its detractors.

Four main planning issues were repeatedly raised:

  1. The proposed power for the Secretary of State to designate Local Authority Planning Departments as underperforming;
  2. The proposals in the Bill pertaining to National Parks;
  3. That the planning system is not to blame for the lack of housebuilding; and, 
  4. Allowing renegotiation of section 106 agreements may result in delay.

The Shadow Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, Hilary Benn MP's  contribution was typical of much of the debate:

"What is the problem that this clause is trying to solve, and will it work? I doubt it. This is my last point on section 106 agreements. For a measure that is supposed to speed up movement on stalled sites, it might result, as the Royal Town Planning Institute has pointed out, in the very opposite. A developer that hopes to reduce the affordable housing obligation will now have a clear incentive to wait for the Bill to reach the statute book rather than entering into negotiations with the local authority-in other words, delay."