Thursday, 22 July 2010

Ian Swales questions Minister over hostel proposals in Redcar

Proposals for hostels for people on bail or on remand in Redcar may not be the given the go-ahead under the new coalition government according to Communities Minister, Andrew Stunnell, who in response to concerns raised by local MP, Ian Swales, confirmed that the new government would allow local communities to control plans in their own area.

Speaking on Tuesday in a Westminster Hall debate on coastal towns, Mr Swales expressed his concern that residents and local authorities in Redcar were powerless to stop Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) from being established because of the planning laws put in place by the previous Government.

In his reply, Mr Stunnell confirmed the new coalition government’s commitment to devolve the planning framework to local authorities, so that they can establish their local plans and the have the freedom to take those decisions.

Commenting Mr Swales said:

“There is a pending planning hearing in Redcar and Cleveland about HMOs-which will involve two developments of secure accommodation in the heart of our resort.

“There will be large financial returns for the people involved, but even though local residents don’t want those hostels in that place, the local authority has little power to do anything about it because of the planning laws put in place by the previous Labour government.”  

“It may be too late to stop these HMOs from being established this time, but I’m delighted that as a result of the actions taken by this coalition government, from now on local authorities and residents will be given the freedom to make those decisions in the interests of their own community.”

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