Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

VAZ TO BLOCK 'RETROSPECTIVE' PLANNING BILL

  • Comment
Labour was to oppose the planning bill on its Commons second reading last night. ...
Labour was to oppose the planning bill on its Commons second reading last night.

Shadow planning minister Keith Vaz claimed the Town and Country Planning (costs of inquiries etc) Bill would create a dangerous precedent of allowing retrospective legislation, and legitimise payments to government which were being demanded illegally.

Mr Vaz condemned the government for failing to consult councils over an error in law which it admitted was its own responsibility.

The bill, published just before Christmas, seeks to enable the government to charge councils for the costs of planning inquiries for their local development plans. In fact, the government has levied the charges for years without having the power to do so.

It will cost English and Welsh councils a total of £3.8 million a year and Scottish councils £70,000. The government will also seek interest on outstanding money.

Proposals for retrospective legislation are rare and controversial, the most notable example being the debate over powers to prosecute alleged war criminals.

'This measure creates a very dangerous precedent. Retrospective legislation should only be used in very rare circumstances,' Mr Vaz said. 'For years the government has been collecting money from councils improperly. If councils had been acting illegally ministers would have hammered them.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.