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Committee writes to Michael Gove, Secretary of State, on planning reform concerns

21 June 2022

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee has written to Secretary of State Michael Gove raising a series of concerns regarding the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill and fears that its provisions amount to a centralisation of the planning system.

The correspondence draws the Secretary of State’s attention to the legal opinion (attached to the letter) produced by Paul Brown Q.C. and Alex Shattock, Landmark Chambers, on the instruction of Rights: Community: Action.

The letter from Clive Betts, LUHC Committee Chair, arises from an exchange with the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, in the evidence session on 13 June.

These concerns about the centralisation of the planning system were also raised with witnesses during an evidence session on Monday 20 June. The Committee questioned a series of planning experts on the Government’s Levelling Up, Housing and Regeneration Bill and the Government’s planning proposals and their likely effectiveness in advancing the levelling-up agenda.

At the evidence session on Monday 20 June, Victoria Hills, Chief Executive, Royal Town Planning Institute, Dr Hugh Ellis, Policy Director, Town and Country Planning Association, and Christopher Young QC, No5 Barristers Chamber answered questions from the Committee including on issues around public participation in the planning system and the Bill’s framework for the Infrastructure Levy.

The LUHC Committee arranged this additional session on the Levelling Up, Housing and Regeneration Bill following concerns raised regarding the centralisation of the planning system in the evidence hearing- on 13 June with Secretary of State, Michael Gove.

The evidence session on 20 June can be viewed on Parliament TV.

Further information

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