Thank you for contacting me about the recently announced planning reforms.
Our planning system needs to work for those who use it to make sure new homes, businesses and vital infrastructure are not held back by outdated, complicated and time-consuming bureaucracy. It currently takes an average of five years for an application for residential development to go through the planning system before building can even begin, and this cannot be right for communities here in Hastings and Rye and those across the country who want homes to live in, places to work, and schools and hospitals built.
The recent planning reforms announced by the Government aim to cut the red tape which results in such long and arduous processes, and this is an aim that I ultimately agree with. When reforming the planning process, however, there are certain tenets that should not be neglected or circumvented, including the role of local communities in deciding what should, or should not be, built in the areas they live and work in.
Reflecting on this, and after having had constructive conversations with representatives of both Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council, I have sent a joint letter with the Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle Huw Merriman to the Minister of State for Housing, the Rt Honourable Christopher Pincher. This joint letter highlighted the concerns of constituents of both Hastings and Rye and Bexhill and Battle surrounding the planning reforms, and has led to a meeting being planned between myself, Huw Merriman and the Minister of State for Housing in the near future where such concerns can be discussed in greater detail.
I know this issue is one of great concern to the constituents of Hastings and Rye, and, as such, I will continue to monitor the situation closely, raising concerns at the Ministerial level when it is appropriate to do so.
Thank you again for contacting me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP