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Peers vote for new neighbourhood right of appeal

22 April 2016

A cross-political-party group of peers won the fight for the introduction of a new limited ‘Neighbourhood Right of Appeal’ into the Housing and Planning Bill, on Wednesday 20 April. This new right was supported by a powerful alliance of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Civic Voice and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

The group of peers (led by Baroness Parminter, Lord Kennedy, Lord Taylor of Goss Moor, president of NALC, and Lord Best) along with the campaign alliance organisations believe that for communities that draw up neighbourhood plans to have a more effective say over the way their local areas are developed they should have a right to appeal over any development that conflicts with those plans. It must be remembered that plans for house building are more than 10% higher in the first areas with a neighbourhood plan, as opposed to those with only the planning authorities’ local plan.

The incentive for a community to go to the effort required to produce a neighbourhood can be severely hampered if it can be trampled on or ignored when planning authorities make decisions on applications. The only opportunity to challenge these decisions would be thoroughly costly judicial reviews.

That is why it is correct that this ‘right to appeal’ was written into the Housing and Planning Bill.

Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “There are too many examples of local communities who have worked hard to agree a neighbourhood plan only to see their efforts swept aside when developers get permission for housing that conflicts with that plan.

“Neighbourhood plans are the best planning innovation for many years. They are resulting in much more house building and much less aggro about development. But communities will only go to the effort of working on them, coming to difficult decisions about where new housing should go, if they have some protection from speculative planning applications.

“It is therefore very welcome that peers from across the House have joined in supporting this amendment. I hope that the Government will listen. This amendment is good for democracy and good for house building.”

Freddie Glick, chair of Civic Voice said: “A neighbourhood right of appeal, appropriately defined, will help to give people greater confidence that their involvement in the planning system is worthwhile, by encouraging development in line with locally defined objectives. Experience shows that such an approach need not be anti-development but can help get the right kind of development in the right place, something we all want.”

NALC chairman Cllr Ken Browse said: “The voice of local people through the local (town and parish) councils should always be at the heart of planning. To some extent this is being achieved through the statutory neighbourhood plans. But communities via these local councils feel that their planning demands are being ignored and there is still the potential for developers to try and ride roughshod against the neighbourhood plan. So this ‘neighbourhood right of appeal’ would stop this planning injustice”.

Notes for Editors

1. The Right will only apply to parish and town councils and neighbourhood forums whose neighbourhood plan has progressed to at least the point of formal submission to the local authority for examination. In line with the NPPF and NPPG the weight given to the neighbourhood plan policies will depend on the stage of preparation of the emerging plan.

2. The Right will also only apply when the plan contains proposals for the provision of new housing.

3. For further information, please contact Benjamin Halfpenny on 020 7981 2819 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is the nationally recognised membership body representing the interests of 9,000 local councils. They have 80,000 local councillors in England. For further information please contact Alan Jones, 020 7290 0304, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement in England. For more information please contact Ian Harvey, 07877096968, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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