Ribble Valley MP fights for end of ‘land banking’

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has called for a “use it or lose it” planning law to prevent developers from hoarding land.

He has proposed a new system for planning application to make developers enter into a contracts with councils to give guarantees over the timetable of building. Failure to keep to this would result in planning approval being withdrawn.

Mr Evans hoped this would stop land banking by developers and give local people the certainty they need when developments are proposed or approved.

Mr Evans told the Commons: “Planning is one of the issues that can dominate the lives of members of Parliament. Passions run high, and rightly so. However, we do not have a vote at planning meetings.

“My Bill will rebalance the position, so that, at the outset of an application, far more thought is given by developers to what they are requesting. They will need to make clear the start and completion dates of the 
development via a contract.

“Land banking and the blighting of people’s homes will no longer be acceptable.”

He said afterwards: “During my research I found one example of a development which was completed eight and three quarter years 
after planning permission was given. This has to stop.”