Wilt shire MP James Gray has responded to the letter Wiltshire Area Localism and Planning Group (WALPG) asking them to help protect Neighbourhood Planning.

This week the WALPG sent a letter to all five Wiltshire MPs asking their support to ensure government immediately reviews the National Planning Policy Framework NPPF and secure the strength and standing of Neighbourhood Planning and made Neighbourhood Plans.

The WALPG is a group made up of 32 town and parish councils including Calne, Malmesbury, Corsham, Devizes, Cannock, Crudwell and Trowbridge.

North Wiltshire MP, James Gray said he agreed with the points made by the WALPG and would write to the secretary of state, Robert Jenrick ‘within the next few days’ to raise two points with the cabinet member.

“First, the rule that if a Neighbourhood Pan is more than two-years-old, then it can be trumped by a shortfall in the five-year housing land supply.

“That effectively negates the value in the Neighbourhood Planning system.

“What’s the point in going to all the trouble and expense of creating a Neighbourhood Plan if it is overruled two years later?”

“And Secondly,” he said. “There is a fundamental flaw in the method of calculating the five-year housing land supply figures.”

“Land on which planning permission has been granted, but on which developers have not yet started building does not count.

“Developers are thereby incentivised to delay the start of building until the very last minute since by doing so they stand a better chance of getting permission on land which would otherwise not be available to them.

“That drives a coach and horses through the Neighbourhood Planning process.”