Robert Jenrick's planning headache as constituents accuse him of failing to protect green spaces 

Robert Jenrick faces further planning headache back home as his constituents accuse him of failing to protect green spaces

  • Newark campaigners have accused Jenrick of ignoring their requests for help
  • Planning permission was given to build nine luxury homes on a popular playing field
  • A spokesperson for Jenrick said he is a committed MP who always makes time for important constituency issues

Robert Jenrick’s planning headaches won’t disappear when he leaves Whitehall and returns to his Nottinghamshire constituency, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Campaigners in Newark have accused the Housing Minister of failing to protect their green spaces from developers – and largely ignoring their requests for help.

Residents are angry about several schemes including the decision by Newark and Sherwood District Council to grant planning permission to a company it owns to build nine luxury homes on a popular playing field.

Paul Baggaley, Secretary of the Newark Sports Association, said Mr Jenrick’s response to letters of concern had been inadequate.

‘It seems extraordinary to us – Robert Jenrick’s constituents – that people like Richard Desmond can get access to our MP, but we cannot,’ he said.

Campaigners in Newark have accused the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick (pictured) of failing to protect their green spaces from developers – and largely ignoring their requests for help

Campaigners in Newark have accused the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick (pictured) of failing to protect their green spaces from developers – and largely ignoring their requests for help

‘It seems to me that he is open to being lobbied by Tory party donors, but he is not open to being lobbied by people who live and breathe the air in his own constituency.’

Locals were spurred into action by Mark Spencer, the Tory MP in the neighbouring Sherwood constituency, who wrote about the importance of protecting green spaces in a local newspaper and urged residents to ‘be active’ about the issue by ‘getting in touch with your local MP’.

Ironically, Mr Jenrick has enthused about the importance of parks during the coronavirus crisis, encouraging councils to give people access to green spaces and saying: ‘People need parks.’

But Mr Baggaley suggested his MP was guilty of double standards. ‘Our requests to have a meeting with him… have been met with a stony silence,’ he said.

Locals were spurred into action by Mark Spencer (pictured), the Tory MP in the neighbouring Sherwood constituency, who wrote about the importance of protecting green spaces in a local newspaper and urged residents to ‘be active’ about the issue by ‘getting in touch with your local MP’

Locals were spurred into action by Mark Spencer (pictured), the Tory MP in the neighbouring Sherwood constituency, who wrote about the importance of protecting green spaces in a local newspaper and urged residents to ‘be active’ about the issue by ‘getting in touch with your local MP’

‘Local residents aren’t against building new homes, but we are against building on existing parks and playing fields.’

The Mail on Sunday is calling on Ministers to protect Britain’s green spaces from developers. Following our campaign, the Government last year pledged £13 million to help improve Britain’s parks.

Newark and Sherwood District Council did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for Mr Jenrick said he is ‘a committed local MP who always makes time for the issues that are important to his constituents’, adding that it’s a local council matter.

‘As Secretary of State, he cannot have Ministerial involvement in any Government decision on it, but protecting green spaces and parks in Newark and across the country is one of his priorities.’

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