During today’s debate on the Queen’s Speech, Catherine McKinnell has criticised the Government’s planning reforms which “do not have people at their heart”.

Catherine highlighted that residents already feel their rights come second to those of developers and that the Government’s proposals will see residents further removed from the process, reducing local input and giving developers even more of a free hand.

During the Queen’s Speech debate Catherine cautioned the Government “not to go down the path of further deregulation” and highlighted experiences in her constituency with Newcastle Great Park where “some estates have stood for over a decade now without the kind of amenities most people take for granted, like GPs, dentists, proper transport links, schools, or even local shops.”

Catherine called on the Government to instead “look at ways of incentivising the development of more genuinely affordable homes and supporting the installation of infrastructure and community facilities at an early stage of development.”

Following her contribution to the debate, Catherine commented “Newcastle North has seen significant development in Newcastle Great Park and the Outer West, with further developments in the pipeline.

“Too often residents feel that their views are secondary to developers and the Government’s changes will further remove their right to input into  developments.

“What we need instead is greater involvement of communities in the planning process and stronger powers to hold developers to account and ensure that good quality infrastructure is embedded in developments at the earliest stage possible.

“New developments must be more than a collection of houses – they must be communities”.