Enforcement of planning rules is crucial for giving people confidence in the system.
Earlier today, I met officials from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), and a planning officer from Maidstone Borough Council, to discuss the growth of traveller sites around Headcorn and Ulcombe.
I was joined by local councillors; Shellina Prendergast, Karen Chappell-Tay, and Martin Round.
Gypsy travellers have been around Headcorn for generations, and relations between local residents and the traveller community have generally been good.
But the recent expansion of a number of traveller sites has put a strain on relations. Permanent residents feel there is one rule for them and another for travellers. I discussed these concerns with local residents and councillors in a meeting last month.
I wanted to meet officials from MHCLG to see how the Government’s proposals to reform the planning system can help to address these concerns.
I’m pleased the Government’s White Paper on planning reform includes new enforcement powers for local authorities along with measures to crack down on intentional unauthorised development. I look forward to being able to support these measures in Parliament.
I’ll continue to do everything I can to make the planning system fairer and protect our countryside.