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Gloucestershire Business News

Council wants strong local voice and sustainability focus in proposed planning reforms

At last Thursday's meeting of Gloucestershire County Council, councillors supported a motion for council leader Mark Hawthorne to submit the views of the authority to government on its proposed national planning reforms.

As part of the motion, councillors agreed that there is a real need to deliver more homes in our county, so that future generations can enjoy the security of owning their own homes.

The county council also believe they should be involved in the setting and distribution of section 106 funding and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), to ensure sufficient funding for key infrastructure such as schools and roads.

It suggested that planning white paper should include a series of environmental standards to which new developments must comply with to ensure that local and national Net Zero Carbon Emission targets are achieved and biodiversity standards are protected.

And decided that the government should be asked to implement stronger controls to ensure individuals making decisions on planning applications are not connected either financially or personally with the developers or related parties to the application.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at the county council, said: "I'm pleased that council has passed this motion as our residents should have a say over developments that could affect them.

"Local councils are best placed to understand the issues in their area so their involvement is essential in achieving successful, effective development. It is important that the concerns raised about the current proposed reforms are listened to."

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of the county council, said: "It is of course essential more housing is delivered for local people but it is equally important that it is delivered in a planned and sustainable way, with a strong local voice and say over the realistic level of funding needed to deliver the necessary facilities and services for communities, such as schools and roads."

Cllr John Bloxsom, leader of the Labour Group at the county council, said: "We really need more homes in our county, so that future generations can enjoy the security of tenure both for renters and home owners, so I'm pleased council unanimously passed this motion. I hope these amendments are taken on board."

Cllr Cate Cody, leader of the Green Group at the county council, said: "I welcome the unanimous support of councillors to ask Government to amend their reforms to include clear environmental standards so new developments support the drive to achieve net zero carbon emission targets, and our biodiversity standards are safeguarded."

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