On Monday the Business and Planning Bill had its second reading. The measures in the Bill are designed to provide a boost to businesses after Covid-19 to help them as they look to bounce back from lockdown. I spoke in favour local authorities exercising discretion in favour of supporting businesses and reopening the economy when they make planning decisions.
"I add my name to that long list, but can my right hon. Friend give some confidence to local authorities? There are a lot of planning rules and regulations, and some of our planning officers are quite conservative in their interpretation. Where there is discretion, can we send the message out from this place that decisions must be decided in favour of business and of opening up?"
"Of course we want to make sure that businesses open up, and we want local authorities to help local businesses do that, which is precisely the reason for these measures. We will publish guidance alongside the measures in the Bill, and I would ask local authorities to adhere to it. If my hon. Friend has any specific suggestions, I would be very happy to hear from him, as would my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who will wind up this debate."