Otley’s MP has presented a Parliamentary Bill demanding a greater say for local communities in the planning process.

Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) made the move in the House of Commons yesterday.

His draft National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill comes against the backdrop of proposals to allow some 70,000 new homes to be built across Leeds over the next 15 years – more than 1,100 of them in Otley. The Bill proposes giving communities the right to appeal against high housing targets and recommends strengthening the Assets of Community Value and Community Right to Bid schemes.

It would also:

  • Close loopholes that allow certain facilities to be converted for retail use without planning permission l
  • Enable councils to reject developers’ planning applications on the grounds of ‘prematurity’, so communities have a chance to put together local and neighbourhood plans
  • Encourage neighbouring local authorities to work together to address regional housing needs
  • Allow councils to enforce building on brownfield sites before green land can be used.

Mr Mulholland is also proposing to end the right of developers to appeal, and to abolish the Planning Inspectorate. He said: “Local communities must be allowed to stand up to developers who have not properly planned investment in the area, and residents around the country should also be allowed to stand up for their much-valued green spaces.”

MPs Philip Davies and Stuart Andrew are among those supporting the Bill.