Bill Committee Room
Bill Committee Room

21st June 2022

MP Rachael Maskell has been chosen to sit on key committee to scrutinise critical new planning and regeneration laws.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has now passed its Second Reading and begins its line by line scrutiny this week on the Bill Committee. Rachael Maskell MP has been selected by Labour to sit on the Committee to press the Government for changes to planning law. With her experience of working on York’s Local Plan, taking up local planning concerns and looking closely at major projects like York Central, Rachael wants to ensure that the system is fit for the future.

Rachael Maskell MP said:

 “Planning currently fails local people, by developing the wrong kind of housing in the wrong places, and allows developer profit to shape our communities, meaning we are failing to create places that local people can afford and want to lve in.  We must see radical reforms to planning if anything is to change.  I will, therefore, be making the case in the Bill Committee that local people must be meaningfully included in planning decisions, and that developers are no longer able to sit on land to increase their profits, but instead must get on with developing the housing local people urgently need.”

“With the climate crisis, new developments must be built sustainably, so that we cut emissions through private transport and upgrading our homes.  We also need to ensure land is used appropriately, so that all new developments are high quality developments, with sufficient green spaces, pleasant active travel and public transport routes and with the infrastructure that enables communities to thrive.

“If we are to truly level up, as this Bill aims, then economically valuable land must be committed to bring forward the jobs that will improve the local opportunities for decent wages and a secure economy. The York Central development, as it stands, chokes off economic opportunity in favour of luxury apartments which local people will not be able to afford. There is a massive opportunity for York Central to be the first of a new generation of developments, but there is need for a fundamental rethink. As this is a Bill about ‘levelling up’ it is vital that future jobs, housing and transport and the local special environment are determined to give local communities the very best opportunities.”

The first week of the Committee starting on Tuesday 21 June 2022 will take evidence from leaders in planning, devolution and ‘levelling up’ before commencing line by line scrutiny of the text of the Bill the following week. The Bill is 325 pages long, and the Committee will sit until the end of September 2022.

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