On 11th July 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith received written answers to four questions on the draft National Planning Policy Framework:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to develop local-connection criteria for the proposed Entry Level Exception Site policy in the draft National Planning Policy Framework. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about draft National Planning Policy Framework”
On 28th February 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill at Report Stage. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, spoke in favour of an amendment to ensure planning permission had to be granted for a change of use for pub buildings. The amendment was passed at a vote. Continue reading “Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on community value of pubs”
On 23rd February the House of Lords considered the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill at Report Stage. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd & Rt Hon John Sentamu spoke in support of an amendment from Lord Stunell on planning authority regulations.
The amendment was put to a vote and passed by 113 votes to 107.
Moved by Lord Stunell
18: Clause 13, page 14, line 5, at end insert—
“(2A) No regulations shall be made under subsection (1) that would have the effect of preventing a local planning authority from requiring a condition that would otherwise be in conformity with the national planning policy framework.”
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, first, I apologise to the noble Baroness, Lady Cumberlege. I was whispering to her because the spirit was on me, and was saying, “Preach it, sister, preach it”, as she referred to a document as a bible.* Continue reading “Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on planning regulations”
On 24th January 2017 Labour Peer Baroness Andrews moved “That the Grand Committee takes note of the Report from the Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment (Session 2015–16, HL Paper 100).” The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, spoke in the debate, highlighting the need not only for new homes but for community resources too:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, it is essential that more homes are built to support the population of the United Kingdom. Parliament’s own publication estimates that a minimum of 230,000 new homes need to be built each year, a level of building not sustained since the 1970s, and two to three times above the current levels of supply. Some 81,000 households were estimated to be homeless or in temporary accommodation in 2013-14. It is young people in their late teens and 20s who are most unable to afford rents, particularly in the private sector. The gap between average household income and house price continues to rise, further reducing affordability for many households. Therefore, as affordable new-build housing is essential, the quality and effort put into designing the living environment and communal space becomes even more important. Continue reading “Archbishop of York speaks on importance of building communities as well as homes”
On 17th January 2017, the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Lords. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, spoke to express his support for the broad principles of the Bill.
The Archbishop of York My Lords, I hope I will not abuse the great privilege you have given me by allowing me, as the 24th speaker, to speak in the gap.
I support the Bill because of the three areas it covers: neighbourhood planning, local development plans and compulsory purchase. Continue reading “Archbishop of York supports Neighbourhood Planning Bill”
On 8th November 2016, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether flood defences are in place to protect vital infrastructure this winter.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: The Minister has already referred to the EFRA Select Committee report, Future Flood Prevention. One of its recommendations is the imposition on developers of a statutory liability for the cost of floods where those developments have not complied with planning regulations or the local planning situation, thereby causing additional flooding. Does the Minister agree with this eminently sensible suggestion, and will Her Majesty’s Government adopt it? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans suggests irresponsible developers should be liable for costs of flood damage”
On 16th July 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt revd Alan Smith, led Peers in a question for short debate “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure the sustainability of rural communities, in the light of the additional costs and challenges of service provision in rural areas.” His speech opening the debate is below. The full debate can be read here.
Question for Short Debate
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am very grateful to all those who are going to contribute to this debate, which is an opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable rural communities to the life of this country and to consider the challenges that exist in providing the services needed to support those communities so that they can continue to be engaging and vibrant places to live and work. Many definitions of vibrancy can, and indeed have been, applied to rural communities. Previously, these definitions have focused on the services available in the community—for example, a shop, a post office or a school. But in the final analysis it is the people who count and who make a rural community, indeed any community, what it is. A rural community becomes sustainable when people care about its future and have an opportunity to engage in that future, shaping it themselves for the common good. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans leads House of Lords debate on sustainability of rural communities”