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Churches: Bellringing

Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN 116503, tabled on 29 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken within planning and other guidance to local authorities to support the continued ringing of church bells and traditional chimes.

Answered on

15 January 2018

We are standing up for England’s churches. National planning policy already sets out that businesses should not have unreasonable restrictions put on them because of changes in nearby land uses since they were established.

We are minded to amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to give greater emphasis to this matter, by setting out that planning policies and decisions should take account of existing businesses and other organisations, such as churches, community pubs and music venues, when locating new development nearby.

We consulted on proposals for this as part of the Housing White Paper published on 7 February 2017 and we intend to publish a revised draft NPPF for consultation as early as possible in 2018. At that stage we will host a round-table with representatives from the sector to invite their input into this important matter.

We continue to work with other departments, to ensure local authorities support existing businesses, organisations or activities that are an integral part of local communities, at the same time as supporting new housing and local growth.