All Huw Merriman contributions to the Business and Planning Act 2020

Mon 29th June 2020
3 interactions (67 words)

Business and Planning Bill

(2nd reading)
Huw Merriman Excerpts
Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma
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As ever, my hon. Friend raises an incredibly important point. Yes, forbearance is part of these measures, and we would expect that very much to apply.

Before I turn to the detail of the Bill, I want to thank all those across industry and both Houses who have engaged with the Government to help develop the measures in the Bill. I also thank the Local Government Association, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Home Builders Federation and the British Property Federation for sharing their expertise. I am pleased to say that the measures in the Bill enjoy wide stakeholder support. The LGA, the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Beer and Pub Association, UKHospitality, the Freight Transport Association, the Road Haulage Association, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the British Property Federation and UK Finance have all expressed their support.

Huw Merriman Portrait Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle) (Con)
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I add my name to that long list, but can my right hon. Friend give some confidence to local authorities? There are a lot of planning rules and regulations, and some of our planning officers are quite conservative in their interpretation. Where there is discretion, can we send the message out from this place that decisions must be decided in favour of business and of opening up?

Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma
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Of course we want to make sure that businesses open up, and we want local authorities to help local businesses do that, which is precisely the reason for these measures. We will publish guidance alongside the measures in the Bill, and I would ask local authorities to adhere to it. If my hon. Friend has any specific suggestions, I would be very happy to hear from him, as would my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who will wind up this debate.