MP meets Director of Planning in Birmingham to discuss planning reforms and Government policy for Sutton Coldfield
Andrew Mitchell MP has met in Sutton Coldfield with Waheed Nazir the Director of Planning & Regeneration for Birmingham City Council to discuss the impact of the recently published National Planning Policy Framework on planning policy in Sutton Coldfield.
The new Framework makes planning much simpler and more accessible – following extensive public consultation the Department for Communities & Local Government condensed over 1,300 pages of jargon into an understandable guide of around 50 pages.
The Government’s planning reforms have a number of objectives. The key one for Sutton Coldfield is to put power in the hands of communities to shape the places in which they live. The other key objectives are to help create the homes and jobs the country needs and to protect and enhance our natural and historic environment.
Andrew Mitchell is regularly contacted by constituents concerned about planning applications, particularly in respect of ‘garden grabbing’ which continues to cause anxiety in Sutton Coldfield. Mr Mitchell publicly intervenes on planning applications which are of strategic significance to the town. For example, Mr Mitchell has made high level representations on the planning application and consequent appeals to erect 5 houses at the rear of 16 Bennett Road in Four Oaks because of its particular significance more widely across Sutton Coldfield. Mr Mitchell recently wrote to the Planning Inspectorate setting out what he considered to be the impact of the National Planning Policy Framework on this appeal and requesting that the decision of Birmingham City Council is upheld. He has received assurance that full consideration will be given to the views of concerned Sutton residents and local Councillors as well as his own before a decision is reached.
Andrew Mitchell MP said, “I had a most useful meeting with Waheed and took the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding planning that are of concern to many of my constituents. The new Framework is clear that planning decisions should be made by local neighbourhoods through a Local Plan. In Sutton we do not yet have a Local Plan and it is, therefore, essential that a sensitive and well-balanced approach is taken and that full consideration is given to the views and concerns of the local community.”
“Clearly planning is a matter for our local Councillors and I have no direct jurisdiction in the planning process. Nevertheless I always try to ensure my constituents’ views and concerns about planning are heard by Birmingham City Council before a decision is made.”