Jacob Rees-Mogg says South Shields 'deserves to remain attractive' after Emma Lewell-Buck raises planning concerns in Parliament
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck called for an urgent reform of the planning system as she raised concerns about a number of developments in South Tyneside during a session in Parliament.
Ms Lewell-Buck took up the cudgel of constituents voicing concerns over a number of developments in the borough.
These include the pontoon at Market Dock approved in March, which developers say will provide new marina facilities and an ‘attractive vista’ – but objectors fear will lead to noise, parking and environmental problems.
The controversial road-over-rail proposals at Tilesheds, which has now been “paused”, and plans for houses on the site of a playpark as part of the Holborn development, were also mentioned by the MP in Parliament
She said: “In my constituency there are a number of developments that are completely at odds with residents wishes: a pontoon at Market Dock; destruction of fields and a popular play park at Holborn Riverside; and the construction of an unnecessary flyover at Tilesheds.
"The planning system is completely failing them. They were not involved in decisions at the outset and now they are expressing concerns that they are being ignored, railroaded, and, in some cases, treated with contempt.
"Please can we have an urgent debate on reforming the planning system so that local people can have a real say on what happens in their community.”
In the past, both councillors and planners have pointed out that if they refuse certain developments without being able to cite a reason set out in planning guidelines, developers will win at appeal, with costs met by the council.
Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg, however, urged Ms Lewell-Buck to take up her issues with South Tyneside Council in the first instance.
“I have visited the Honourable Lady’s constituency and know what an attractive place it is. And it is a place that deserves to remain attractive,” said the politician, who came to South Shields with broadcasters in 2014.
“This always leads to arguments about planning. But the planning system is fundamentally a local one, with local councils having the majority of say in planning developments.
"So may I suggest that initially this is taken up with the local council.
"It’s only at the stage when things are called in to national Government that they become a matter for Central Government.”