The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservative Government’s plans to reform the planning system, arguing that proposed changes will do nothing to alleviate the housing challenges across our districts.
In response, Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Johns tabled a motion at the shadow council meeting on Tuesday 15th September asking that the council responds robustly to the proposals. He says, “These plans suggest that a lack of progress in building houses more rapidly is the fault of the current planning system. This is patently nonsense as 9 out of 10 planning applications are approved and there are already a million homes sitting unbuilt with planning permissions granted”
The motion was seconded by Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Markham who continued; “The Royal Institute for British Architects called the proposals shameful and suggested that it will do almost nothing to guarantee delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes. RIBA also said that proposals could lead to the next generation of slum housing. Furthermore, the reforms are opposed by the all-party Local Government Association”
Fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Jonathan Harris says “The Conservatives’ plan is that new developments of up to 50 homes may no longer have to provide any affordable housing. This will further reduce the number of affordable homes being built. These proposals are an attack on localism and will deny people the chance to have their say on local development”. He added “What we actually need is an urgent housebuilding programme of environmentally friendly social homes for rent. This is one of the pragmatic ways we can tackle the housing crisis head on.”
15th September 2020