Local MP, Andrew George, will meet with Helston Town Council tomorrow (Thursday 1st May) to update members on his campaign to devolve additional planning powers to Parish and Town Councils.


Mr George contacted all of the Parish and Town Councils in his constituency earlier this year to seek support for his national campaign to introduce a right for Town and Parish Councils to appeal against planning decisions and to introduce a planning rule to control the number of second homes in their area. He has already received positive responses from many Councils and hopes Helston will add their support too.


Mr George said: “Whilst Parish and Town Councils are consulted on planning matters they have no formal statutory role.  Such a right of appeal power would significantly enhance their status and would encourage the local planning authority to take more notice of their comments and concerns.”


He added: “I have also long argued that local authorities should be given greater powers to manage the extent of second and holiday home ownership in particular localities; where their numbers have an impact on the housing opportunities of local people and upon community life and services.


“The introduction of a new Use Class in the planning Use Classes order which would require a planning application to be made for new applications to convert a residence into a ‘non-permanent residence’ would give the planning authority the opportunity to manage the numbers and proportions of second and holiday homes.”


If Mr George continues to receive strong support for his proposals, he intends to seek backing from other parts of the country and use powers contained within the Sustainable Communities Act to present a proposal to Government.


He said: “The Sustainable Communities Act puts Parish and Town Councils in the driving seat to tell Governments what they must do.  The Government has a duty to ‘try to reach agreement’ with local councils where there is a strong and well articulated desire to achieve this objective.  It is my intention to make sure that we have gathered support for this policy so that it is presented powerfully to the next incoming Government. The gathering of support from local Parish and Town Councils is a great step on the way.”


Mr George will discuss his proposals with members of Helston Town Council’s Planning Committee at the Guildhall at 6.15pm.