North Devon planning protest reaches the Prime Minister

Taking concerns to the top (from left): Cllr Jacqueline Flynn, Nick Harvey MP, Cllr John Moore, Cllr Joe Tucker, Cllr Sue Croft, Cllr Eric Ley, Cllr David Worden, Cllr Jeremy Yabsley and Cllr Brian Hockin outside 10 Downing Street. Taking concerns to the top (from left): Cllr Jacqueline Flynn, Nick Harvey MP, Cllr John Moore, Cllr Joe Tucker, Cllr Sue Croft, Cllr Eric Ley, Cllr David Worden, Cllr Jeremy Yabsley and Cllr Brian Hockin outside 10 Downing Street.

Monday, February 3, 2014
8:49 PM

Delegation urges Government to examine policies that are ‘stifling’ local democracy.

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A GROUP of North Devon councillors knocked on the door of the Prime Minister today (Monday), to take a planning protest right to the very top.

As reported in the Gazette last month, councillors have become increasingly concerned that government policy is stifling their ability to determine large planning applications.

After delivering a letter and notice of motion to Number 10, councillors and North Devon MP Nick Harvey met with Planning Minister Nick Boles to discuss their concerns.

Cllr David Worden, who was one of those who attended, said: “We have had a constructive meeting and I would like to thank the Minister for taking time to meet with us and hear our concerns.

“He has given us some useful advice and has said he will get back to us with further information that will help strengthen our case locally.”

Mr Harvey MP said: “Councillors explained vigorously to the Planning Minister the difficulties they face in dealing with opportunist and mischievous planning applications.

“The Minister usefully clarified certain points and was sympathetic to their concerns, making clear they will be in a much stronger position once the Local Plan is adopted.”

Council leader, Brian Greenslade added: “It is time the Government ensured a level playing field, so councillors who serve on planning committees have the chance to take a balanced and fair view of planning applications they receive.”

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