Harlow MP Robert Halfon presses government to allow councils to put planning applications in digital newspapers

News / Thu 28th Oct 2021 at 08:44am

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon rose on the floor of the House of Commons to ask the government to allows councils to place statutory notices (such as planning applications etc) in digital only news outlets.

As the law stands, public notices have to be in printed newspapers. Therefore,as YH understands it, if there was only one printed newspaper left in the country and it was in the Shetland Isles, then a planning application for a building in Harlow would have to appear there and not in a digital publication such as YourHarlow that last year had over five million page views.

Robert Halfon said: “To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Government’s review of the Planning for the Future White Paper, if he will make it his policy to allow local authorities to place statutory planning notices with digital-only news outlets to cover their statutory duty.

Minister of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Christopher Pincher replied: “The Secretary of State is taking time to review departmental programmes and engage with key stakeholders, and will be considering the best way forward in relation to proposals to reform the system.

“Community engagement in planning should be transparent and more accessible for communities across England, and the Secretary of State’s considerations include how engagement can be improved, including through statutory notices.

“An announcement on our proposed way forward for the planning system will be made in shortly”.

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3 Comments for Harlow MP Robert Halfon presses government to allow councils to put planning applications in digital newspapers:

2021-10-28 09:10:40

Absolutely spot on, good move by Mr Halfon. Too many controversial planning applications have slipped through hidden from public scrutiny due to the demise of local papers. This is not a party political issue, so well done.

Dan McIntyre
2021-10-28 10:29:41

They’re available for everyone to read on the council website! Hardly hidden

Chris Buck
2021-10-30 08:36:25

@Dan technically anything is available to everybody. However the planning portal is hardly the most easy to navigate site ever. This was even confirmed by Mike hardware who passed the comment at the Icon residents meeting a few months ago. This is a great move to update the planning system and provide local residents with local information, considering Your Harlow is reporting Harlow based news, events and affairs. Gone are the days of the Harlow star, citizen etc in paper form

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