Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Pinnock has raised a question in the House of Lords asking what actions are available to local authorities to take steps to mitigate planning blight.
Seaford Liberal Democrat Cllr Carolyn Lambert explains: “We asked Baroness Pinnock if she could help us and other councils who are faced with the kind of appalling planning blight we are seeing at Talland Parade. Both Lewes District Council and I wrote to the then Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, asking for enhanced legal powers to enable us to deal with this and neither of us even received the courtesy of a reply.
"I am extremely grateful to Baroness Pinnock for her intervention which shows that Liberal Democrats are aware of the damage this sort of blight does to local communities and are actively trying to do something about it”.
Cllr Stephen Gauntlett, Lewes District Council Cabinet Member for Planning adds: “Unfortunately, it is clear that despite these specific requests for powers to deal with this, the Conservative government is continuing to push out the outdated and unrealistic responses which are the same as those we have received from the MP. We have already tried the remedy suggested by the Minister and have been advised that this would fail in court. Perhaps that explains why the Conservatives didn't take any action on this from 2012 to 2019 when they were in charge of the District Council and residents were complaining about the scaffolding and the length of time the development was taking. Councils up and down the country need proper legislative powers and not the current developer’s charter that the government seems so determined to provide.”