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MPs set to back Early Day Motion to save 'country house' clause

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MPs are pledging their support for an Early Day Motion (EDM) in support of the AJ's campaign to keep PPG 7's 'country house clause'.

Labour backbencher Barry Sheerman is set to table the EDM this week. Those backing him include Labour MP and planning specialist Christine Russell.

The EDM will call on the government to pledge that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's (ODPM) forthcoming revised countryside planning guidance, PPS 7, will retain the provision which allows that - in exceptional circumstances - permission may be granted for an isolated new house in the countryside provided it is of the highest quality, is outstanding in terms of architecture and landscape design, and would significantly enhance its immediate setting and wider surroundings. The EDM will aim to influence the draft of PPS 7, which is shortly to be issued by the ODPM for public consultation.

Keith Hill, new minister of state for housing and planning, this week responded to the AJ's campaign by denying that removal of the 'country house clause' would spell the end of the country house tradition. See Editorial (page 26) and visit ajplus. co. uk to read Keith Hill's response in full or to register your views.

l The Great Country House Debate, organised by the AJ and the RIBA, will take place at the RIBA, Portland Place, on Wednesday 9 July at 6.30pm. It will be kicked off by John Gummer MP, who introduced the PPG 7 legislation when he was environment secretary, and will be one of George Ferguson's first appearances as RIBA president.

Email angela. newton@construct. emap. com to register for free entry.

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