ANNOUNCEMENT ON GARDEN GRABBING "TERRIFIC NEWS" FOR LOCAL PEOPLE, SAYS HUNTER

June 14, 2010 2:10 PM
Mark and the local Lib Dems have been campaigning for this announcement for a number of years

Mark and the local Lib Dems have been campaigning for this announcement for a number of years

Local MP Mark Hunter has hailed the Liberal Democrat/Conservative Coalition's announcement on giving local councils powers to prevent the building of new homes in back gardens as "a great success".

Many local residents have contacted Mr Hunter concerned about the number of new houses being built in gardens due to their classification as "brownfield" sites. This means that developers are, in principle, free to use this land to build new properties in the same way that they could with disused factories or railway stations.

Last week, however, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government signalled that he would change the designation of these sites, giving local authorities more influence over the process.

Commenting, Mark said:

"I have campaigned on this issue over a number of years with residents and the local Lib Dem team and am absolutely delighted we have finally achieved success.

"A number of local residents will share my response and look forward to having a real say when planning applications like this are submitted in future.

"Between 1997 and 2008 over a quarter of new housing across the country has been built on these sites, often with fierce opposition from the surrounding community.

"This announcement is just the first step in a whole reform of a system that favours top-down dictats - it is about time that councils had more freedom to work closely with local people to make the decisions that affect them."

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