Local MP grasps another chance to push Protection of Family Homes Bill through Parliament

Steve McCabe MP, Birmingham Selly Oak, has another chance at pushing his Protection of Family Homes Bill (enforcement and permitted development) through this Friday in the Commons.

 

Steve’s Private Member's Bill, aimed at clamping down on rogue landlords and developers, was talked out of time by local government minister Marcus Jones during its second reading stage on 28 October 2016. But Steve won’t give up will be trying to push the Bill through Parliament this Friday. As a fall-back position, Steve is also in talks with colleagues in the House of Lords to see if key parts of the Bill could be added to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill currently going through Parliament.

The Bill has secured cross-party support from MPs whose constituencies have also been blighted by the problem of unauthorised extensions, planning breaches and a total lack of enforcement. Current planning law fails to deal with these recurring problems which has led to a rise in rogue landlords getting away with what they want at the expense of local communities and neighbourhoods.

Steve first introduced his Bill in Parliament in November 2015 after he was inundated with planning complaints about rogue landlords and cowboy builders, an issue that has plagued Selly Oak and other areas across the country with large student populations. Frustrated by the lack of enforcement action to tackle breaches in planning law by the local Council Steve decided to take local residents’ planning plight to Parliament.

 

The Protection of Family Homes (Enforcement and Permitted Development) Private Members Bill will:

 

  • Require the Department for Communities and Local Government to produce clearer guidance for Planning Authorities on when enforcement action should be taken and it will make it compulsory for local planning authorities to publish a detailed enforcement plan
  • Introduce a right of appeal to an independent body when a planning authority decides not take enforcement action against a breach in planning law
  • Set out the requirement for extensions built under permitted development to be independent checked against building regulations to ensure they are safe to live in
  • Introduce new powers for planning authorities to fine developers who breach planning law as a deterrent when enforcement action is not considered ‘expedient’
  • Levy fines to stop landlords like riding roughshod over the law and communities, the financial penalty will be applied to any developer who has misused permitted development or created a structure that adversely impacts the property or any property belonging to another person

 

Steve McCabe MP said:

 

"I’m hoping to push my Bill through this Friday by hook or by crook. For far too long, rogue landlords have got away with misusing permitted development at the expense of local residents, this is a real problem in my constituency and across the country. I think the Government really need to address this issue which is increasingly getting out of hand. I’m hoping the Government will show more support for the hard working people who have saved up all of their lives to buy their family home only for some rogue landlord to devalue their property and show a total disregard for planning laws.”

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