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April 16, 2013

Debate on the Growth and Infrastructure Bill – including the Government's compromise offer on planning

In the face of backbench disgruntlement, the Government has promised to modify its extend-it-if-you-want-to policy on house-building. The key moment comes 1:22.57 into the video below, when Eric Pickles says that, “I can announce today that in the spirit of consensus, we will bring forward a revised approach on the contentious question of permitted development rights for home extensions when the bill returns to the Lords.” We don't yet know what that “revised approach” will look like, only that it will be written into the Bill by the time it reaches the Lords next week. MPs will then have the chance to vote on it when the Bill returns to the Commons on 23rd April.

In the end, the Government secured the result it wanted. An amendment for allowing individual councils to opt out of the planning reforms was rejected by 286 votes to 259, as the House waits to see next week's revisions. That said, 16 Tory MPs – including Zac Goldsmith – did vote against the Government, as did 10 Liberal Democrats. Anyway, here's the video:

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