Dagenham MP says Tory bid to cut planning red tape favours 'fat cat developers'

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas.

MP Jon Cruddas will press for funding to support social care and NHS - Credit: Andrew Achilleos

Jon Cruddas has slammed a bid to cut planning red tape for favouring "fat cat developers".

The Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham criticised the plan to transform the UK's planning laws following its inclusion in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday, May 11.

Queen Elizabeth II delivers a speech from the throne in House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster

Queen Elizabeth II delivers a speech outlining the government's plans during the state opening of Parliament. - Credit: PA

Mr Cruddas said: "The Queen's Speech has opened the door to a developers' charter, ripping up the ability of communities to control over-development and allowing developers a free reign.

"This could have disastrous consequences for Dagenham and Rainham."

He went on to criticise the speech for not including anything on protecting workers' rights or social care.

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"The government has failed the test on both counts, but the fat cat developers will be happy," Mr Cruddas said.

The government wants to bring forward laws to modernise the country's planning system, which controls how places can be developed.

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Among the proposals, ministers want more freedom for land and buildings to change use without planning permission.

This could see commercial buildings, including vacant shops, converted into homes more easily.

Owners would also be able to build above properties and land would be zoned either for growth or protection.

A government spokesperson said the current planning system has a "very poor" record on community engagement with about three per cent of people responding to planning applications.

"Our reforms will give communities a greater voice from the start of the planning process by making planning more straightforward," she said.

In the same week, Barking and Dagenham Council called for views on a proposal to seek more planning powers to prevent "poor quality" development.

The council hopes the change will let it intervene when applicants seek to build "low quality" or "unsightly" storeys on existing buildings.

It will also enable the local authority to insist developers contribute to things like schools or "affordable" housing.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration and social housing, said: "We’re determined to raise standards of development.

"We are therefore seeking these extra powers to make sure we don’t end up with any eyesores."

Comment at yourcall.befirst.london/article-4-consultation by June 21.

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