MP makes a stand on housing plans

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Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke has taken the battle against a “shambolic” planning decision on the controversial Stockeld development to the Government.

Following the U-turn made by Harrogate Borough Council in granting permission for the outline plans for 210 homes at Stockeld on the border of Wetherby, Mr Shelbrooke raised the matter in Parliament to the Leader of the House.

Mr Shelbrooke told the Wetherby News: “As planning matters are devolved to local councils I do not have a formal role, as a Member of Parliament, in the decision making process. However, it is clear to me that this shambolic turn of events at Harrogate Borough Council has left my constituents with little faith that the planning process locally is fair, transparent or democratic.

“Wetherby’s councillors have set out a strong case for why this application should’ve been rejected, including democratic deficiencies, so I have now taken the matter up with the Minister of State.

“Furthermore, I am now investigating ways in which the planning process could be improved to ensure that a fairer process is in place for dealing with planning applications, such as this application, where a proposed development falls within one county, but it will rely upon services in another”.

Mr Shelbrooke has written to the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government formally requesting that the application be called-in for consideration by the Department’s officials. The Town & Country Planning Act has provisions for the Secretary of State to do this, subject to certain conditions being met.