Portsmouth’s Tory planning chief’s development fears

LETTER Cllr Luke Stubbs.   Picture: Malcolm Wells (093677-3679)
LETTER Cllr Luke Stubbs. Picture: Malcolm Wells (093677-3679)
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A LEADING Portsmouth Conservative has raised fears about his own party’s plans to relax planning laws.

Tory group spokesman for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Luke Stubbs, has written to the government raising concerns that the move could lead to more ‘inappropriate’ development.

In a letter to local government secretary Eric Pickles he wrote: ‘While such a move may marginally improve the short term rate of growth, inappropriate development could blight this country for a hundred years to come and I urge you to think carefully before committing the country to such a course.’

He added: ‘All planning is necessarily a process of negotiation and compromise.

‘As a member of Portsmouth’s planning committee, I have voted to grant consent for schemes that I did not want, but where there was no prospect of getting an improved deal – that’s how the real world works and I understand that.

‘The suggested changes though would move the system too far in favour of developers.’

But Mr Pickles has defended the plans in the House of Commons, telling MPs it would make it easier to build that long-wanted conservatory.

He said: ‘We will be seeking to simplify and increase permitted development rights for households.

‘Cutting back municipal red tape in this way should provide a particular boost to small traders and builders.’