OUR new Tory government has announced that it is rail-roading new planning rules which will have the effect of changing communities without local people being able to have a say in it.

The proposals will limit the power of local politicians to block building developments.

Requirements for developers to provide affordable housing are to be relaxed, the community infrastructure levy is to be abolished, along with Section 106 agreements. The decisions that affect local people are being taken away from democratically elected representatives and given to ministers and civil servants.

Because of these Stalinist plans, more communities like Spennymoor will be swamped by a large number of housing developments – without infrastructure to support it, as will the increased danger of coalescence when towns and villages merge into one another.

It will be interesting to see which side our new Tory MP takes.

Martin Jones, Spennymoor