Gove Admits Planning Inspectorate are just implementing government policy

Hansard

We will also be taking steps to ensure that the Planning Inspectorate, when it is reviewing a local plan and deciding whether it is sound, does not impose on local communities an obligation to meet figures on housing need that cannot be met given the environmental and other constraints in particular communities. There are two particular areas, I think, where the Planning Inspectorate —and it is simply following Government policy—has in effect been operating in a way that runs counter to what Ministers at this Dispatch Box have said over and over again. That has got to change, and it is through both legislation and changes to the NPPF that we will do so. We will end abuse of the five-year land supply rules, and make sure that, if local authorities have sound plans in place, there cannot be such speculative development. We will also make sure that, even as we democratise and digitise the planning system, we are in a position to make sure that the Planning Inspectorate ensures not that every plan fits a procrustean bed, but that every plan reflects what local communities believe in…

 we will also end the so-called duty to co-operate, which has often led some urban authorities to offload their responsibility for development on to other areas in a way that has meant that we have had not urban regeneration but suburban sprawl.

One thought on “Gove Admits Planning Inspectorate are just implementing government policy

  1. “I think, where the Planning Inspectorate —and it is simply following Government policy—has in effect been operating in a way that runs counter to what Ministers at this Dispatch Box have said over and over again.”
    There’s a lot to ponder in this one sentence isn’t there?
    In a rational world, Inspectors, following Government policy, should never be able to produce results which run counter to statements from Ministers of the same Government, as there statements are/should be statements of Government policy. So have PINs been misinterpreting policy? Or is it Minister’s at the despatch box?
    Or (heaven forbid) have successive conservative/conservative coalition administrations achieved exactly what they want – a system which superficially serves both housebuilders and NIMBYs with the blame for any unpopular decisions diverted anywhere other than their own administration?

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