New planning law given thumbs-up

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NEW planning rules have been welcomed in a town which is planning to double in size.

New guidance on development became law yesterday after an annoucement from Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Budget.

And the news has been welcomed in Corby, which is recognised to be one of the UK’s fastest growing towns.

The new laws are based on plans announced by ministers last summer.

They will slim down more than 1,000 pages of policy on planning rules into a simpler 50-page framework designed to boost growth.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest Corby will grow in size by between 17 and 19 per cent by 2020.

Corby Council deputy leader Mark Pengelly said: “Simpler planning rules are important but what is more important is people’s right to be able to raise concerns about developments which affect them.

“The devil is in the detail. There is always a lot of red tape with any planning application. But this will help the development of Corby move along more speedily.”

The news comes as another proposal for a new housing development in the town has been proposed.

An application has been submitted by Hilltop and Metropolitan Housing Partnership for a development of 18 affordable homes in Kelvin Grove.

The four houses and 14 bungalows would be built on old council land.

Corby Council has historically looked to develop its old, unused land.

Planning minister Greg Clark said engaging communities was a key part of the new law.

He said: “What we know from this country and the continent is that if you involve people from the beginning, you get better development.

“It is very hard for people in communities to engage with the planning system, to protect the places that they want to see protected. So the reason that we are making these reforms is that we are transferring the power from the distant unelected bodies to local communities.”