Local Bedworth Column - planning

Planning has become the major current issue in Nuneaton and Bedworth again following the (very) long awaited publication of the Borough Council’s Borough Plan.

I was disappointed that greenbelt land in Bedworth has been earmarked for development, whilst the Woodlands will also see hundreds of new houses despite having a strong case to become greenbelt land itself; a campaign which I have supported in the past.

In my opinion greenbelt should always be protected, there are brownfield and urban areas which still have room for much needed housing. Developments should also be in consultation with local people whilst being sustainable to local infrastructure.

That is the basis for my work, both locally and in parliament, regarding developments. Locally I have held public information events for residents to help them have a voice in consultation and nationally I have spoken in Parliament and unequivocally urged housing Ministers to remain firm on greenbelt protection.

That is why I am glad the Government’s recent White Paper continues protecting greenbelt, whilst aiming to build the houses our country needs. The White Paper on housing states that Councils will be asked to demonstrate that they have considered all other potential sites before taking areas out of greenbelt like they are proposing to do in Bedworth.  It’s seems that Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have not done that in their publication.

It was surprising then that I read comments from the Labour Councillor in charge of local housing regarding greenbelt and criticising the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). That is the same NPPF that his colleague Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP (Labour Shadow Minister for Housing) recently commented on in Parliament:“The national planning policy framework document is widely accepted as a very good piece of work”.

I will be holding two further events for residents who would like more information and support in engaging in the consultation process for local housing development planning: Friday 3rd March 4-7pm and Saturday 4th March 12-2pm at the Newdigate Colliery Sports and Social Club in Smorrall Lane.