Leader’s letter calls for more local planning power

The leader of Dudley Council has written to the government seeking assurances that residents will continue to be at forefront of local planning policy amid proposed changes to the national system.

The government is currently consulting local authorities, private landlords, developers and many more groups on proposed changes to national policy to speed up the building of houses. It comes as council’s are under pressure to build more homes for people.

The detail of the changes will be decided once all responses have been returned but it could include speeding up applications or automatic approval on some developments.

The council has responded to the consultation but the leader of the council, Councillor Patrick Harley, backed it up with a letter to The Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP asking for assurances that local people and elected members would still be at the centre of all planning decisions.He also called for more funding to explore the potential for building on brownfield sites which would protect green and open space.

The leader also called for more collaboration with neighbouring authorities on finding suitable land to build on. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

"Local people must be at the forefront of local decisions. As elected members we are chosen to represent the views of Dudley borough residents and it is vital we maintain that with all planning decisions.

"I think there is a real opportunity to reform the system for the better, looking at funding opportunities to develop brownfield sites which would protect our valuable green and open spaces.

"We should also be looking at modern technologies to allow more people to get involved in the planning process and speed things up. There are lots of opportunities to do things better as long as local people come first."

The consultation has been sent back to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government before any decisions are made nationally.


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