I have just received a response from the National Planning Casework Unit about Sundon Parish Council’s request for the Secretary of State Department of Communities and Local Government to intervene in planning applications for developments at Houghton Regis North (see my blog post of 27th July).
The Secretary of State Greg Clark MP has decided not to ‘call in’ these planning applications for the reasons that can be found in his letter 150918-notify_sundon_parish_council
Sundon Parish Council’s response is:
Sundon Parish Council wants a Local Plan that best meets the needs of Central Bedfordshire residents. In principle the Council is not against development. Although the Secretary of State says decisions where possible should be made at a local level he doesn’t appear to take into account the plan making competence of local decision makers. As a consequence Central Bedfordshire residents will have to suffer outcomes of an unsound Local Plan and according to recent legal advice an unlawful North of Luton Framework Plan. (This advice can be found here Harlington Parish Council advice – Sarah Sackman – 14.09.15 ).
The Secretary of State should be reminded these unsatisfactory outcomes have occurred within the context of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) he introduced. Therefore he is ultimately responsible for allowing the incremental implementation of unsound and unlawful plans.