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BURT BACKS NEW BILL TO COMBAT GARDEN GRABBING

February 4, 2009 11:51 PM

Solihull's MP, Lorely Burt spoke in Westminster yesterday in favour of a Bill, presented by Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow , to give more say to local communities in planning decisions on back garden development.

Mrs Burt, who presented her own Bill on the subject when she entered parliament in 2005, kept the heat on Government ministers yesterday by calling for a 'three strikes and you're out' rule to prevent developers wearing down local opposition by submitting repeated planning applications for the same plot. She cited one case in Solihull borough where residents had to defend 19 planning applications.

Speaking in the debate, the Lib Dem MP said:

"They make an application knowing that it will not be accepted. They then re-submit and re-submit, causing tremendous stress and worry in local communities, and in the end they slip in just under the bar. Local communities need a much greater say in decisions affecting the character of their area."

Mrs Burt called for planned development, including affordable housing, rather than piecemeal infill through garden grabbing that caused additional drainage and flooding problems as well as destroyed wildlife corridors.