Letter to the Prime Minister

The following letter has been sent to David Cameron:


The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London SW1A 2AA


Dear Prime Minister,


Newport Shropshire – Implications of Mary Portas High St. Review

and CLG Select Committee Report on draft NPPF


We refer to our letter of 7th October 2011, copy enclosed for ease of reference.

We are writing to you in relation to the above ‘Portas Review’ and the Select

Committee Report, both of which raise further fundamental issues as regards the

proposed developments around the edge of Newport as referenced in our letter of 7th

October 2011.


We will not repeat in this letter extracts from either the Review and/or the Report as

obviously you and your advisers are fully aware of the content and that you and the

relevant Ministers have given undertakings re. taking account of both the substance of

and the recommendations within the documents.


What we would ask, however, is that you do everything within your powers to ensure

that non of the proposed developments in and around the edge of Newport are given

approval to proceed until local people have been given the rights under the various

procedures and mechanisms in the Localism Act to have input and influence on what

is needed for the market town of Newport.


Mary Portas has said in the Review that :-


‘ ..local people should have more say in what they want from them [ the High St].

We are on the cusp of a new time, with the ‘localism’ agenda all about putting more

power into the hands of the people. But we risk this falling flat on its face if we are

not inspired and empowered..’.


Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee , in

launching the Report said :-


‘The way the framework is drafted currently gives the impression that greater

emphasis should be given in planning decisions to economic growth. This

undermines the equally important environmental and social elements of the planning

system….the ‘default yes’ to development also carries the risk of the planning

system being used to implement unsustainable development’.


We contend that from the supporting documents submitted with the various planning


applications for Newport, that the applicants have clearly taken the view put

forward by Clive Betts and that the developments ignore not only environmental

considerations but also social considerations which Mary Portas feels are critical if

local people are going to be persuaded as to the worth of taking back powers to the

local communities in the manner that your Government endorses.


We reiterate that the High Street in Newport has withstood ,so far, the challenges

of the recent economic downturn and the social pressures caused by threats

to employment. It cannot withstand the building of the edge of/out-of -town

developments referred to in our enclosed letter.


We ask for your personal assurances that the people of Newport will be given a real

voice in determining both the shape and structure of the town and that the various

developers and Telford and Wrekin Council will not be allowed to put through

developments immediately prior to the Localism Act taking effect.


Yours sincerely,


Adrian Meredith –Telford and Wrekin Borough Councillor and Newport Town


Patrick Beech – Chairman Newport Chamber of Commerce.

David Parker- Chairman Newport Regeneration Partnership.

CC. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Bob Neill MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Mark Pritchard MP – The Wrekin

Mary Portas – Independent Review of High Street

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