The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill already includes many measures that directly affect Cornwall - the proposed devolution deal, and giving councils the ability to double council tax on second homes and empty houses – but it is now at the stage when MPs can add amendments to improve the bill before it is voted on.
Derek is supporting a number of amendments to the Levelling Up Bill which will boost local democracy.
Derek is introducing an amendment to enable councils to restrict tourist helicopter flights – preventing nuisance and empowering the local community.
In St Ives, a relaxation of planning laws has enabled a tourist helicopter offering pleasure flights to take off from a field, for up to ten hours a day, and to fly extremely low over residential areas. The community in St Ives are given no say over a development which causes serious annoyance during the summer months.
Derek worked with Cornwall Council to find a solution, but the law does not require planning permission from local authorities. Derek undertook a survey of local residents and found that 92% of respondents would like local authorities to have the power to refuse permission for these flights.
Derek is also supporting amendments that will
- Protect Cornwall’s national minority status in a devolution deal
- Remove the need for a Mayor of Cornwall
- Make solar panels compulsory on new build houses
- Give councils the power to decide how many houses should be built
- Force the Government to investigate changes to stamp duty to increase housing availability
- Make it easier for onshore wind farms to get planning permission
- Require planning permission to change a house to a second home or holiday let
- Make developers pay for “land-banking”
- Incentivise “brown-field” development
“The Levelling Up Bill already provides opportunities for Cornwall – but it could do even more.
“The amendments I am backing will strengthen local democracy, giving Cornwall Council more say what matters to us.
“The Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has shown that he is prepared to listen: now we’ll see how many of these amendments the House of Commons votes for.”