Council unites to back planning rules re-think.

Harrogate Council backed a motion put forward by town centre councillors Tim Myatt and Richard Cooper supporting a re-think by the government on changes to planning rules. Many feared those changes would have made it easier for developers to build on greenfield sites.

The changes were suggested as part of a government ‘white paper’ – an early stage in the lawmaking process – but the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, has halted the move.

Local MP Andrew Jones backed the government’s re-think.

The motion to the council also asked the government to make it easier for councils to insist on high environmental standards in new builds. The move was backed unanimously by councillors including all the Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors on the authority.

The motion read: “This council thanks the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for shelving proposed changes to the planning system
recognising that those changes did not have the support of the public,
councillors or Members of Parliament.

“The council welcomes the progress on strengthening building regulations that
will see an interim uplift in carbon efficiency standards in 2022, and the
introduction of the full future homes standard and future buildings standards in
2025, and the council asks that when future planning and building regulation
changes are considered that the Secretary of State support councils like
Harrogate Borough Council to achieve ambitious levels of carbon reduction.”

An amendment asking the government to look at permitted development guidelines was also accepted unanimously.