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New affordable housing set to drop as Government listens to developers not Councils about local needs and accountability

September 1, 2020 9:37 AM

We finally saw details of the Government's planning "reforms" sneaked out at midnight on a Wednesday night just before the start of Parliamentary holidays.

And they weren't joking, were they? They are indeed some "the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the Second World War". Not that I'd describe them as "reforms" except in a negative sense. "Retrograde" is a much more appropriate description

It is very rare you unite politicians from across the political divide, at the same time bringing together the Town & Country Planning Association, the Royal Institute of British Architects, Shelter, CPRE, the countryside charity, The Wildlife Trust, and the Association of Archaeologists, in opposition to a Government proposal

Let us make nice and clear to ministers that any loss of local control and accountability over development is unacceptable. It would deprive communities of the ability to define the places in which they live as well as giving developers freedom to ride roughshod over local areas.

And we all know how ministers stand up to developers........ not!

These changes will see affordable housing provision drop by 20 per cent with new developments up to 50 homes no longer having to provide any.

And yet again ministers are blaming others, such as local government, for failings in their own policies and procedures which we know is what really slows down housing delivery.

Maybe it's not about increasing the supply of homes and tackling waiting lists, but who you sit next to at a fundraising dinner - developers could be putting money into building, not a political party.

Cllr Robin Ashby
Liberal Democrats Shadow Cabinet member for Regeneration - business, development and employment
Letter to the Newcastle Journal 30 August 2020