MP backs decision to abandon government’s housing proposals - The Evesham Observer

MP backs decision to abandon government’s housing proposals

Evesham Editorial 17th Dec, 2020   0

PERSHORE’S MP Harriett Baldwin has welcomed a Government decision to scrap proposals which would lead to thousands more new homes being built across the county.

The Government’s White Paper reforming the planning process would have seen changes to the algorithm which threatened to leave the three south Worcestershire councils with dramatically increased housing targets.

But Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed on Wednesday (December 16) the Government had decided to abandon the algorithm after facing widescale opposition from MPs.

“This is a victory for common sense and proof that the Government is listening hard to MPs and the messages we were passing back from local people,” Mrs Baldwin said.

“West Worcestershire has already seen significant house building and I have always objected to this top-down ‘Stalinist’ approach for setting housing targets.

“I’m not opposed to delivering more homes and we have done more than most areas to identify areas of significant growth.

“But I have always said there are much better ways of doing this and I look forward to seeing the detail on the revised plan so we get an improved process for delivering new housing,” she added.

The opposition to the controversial proposals attracted rare cross-party support with Wychavon’s Liberal Democrats also speaking against the Government’s bid to shake-up the planning system.

Lib Dems claimed the initial suggestions would have seen house building across the district more than triple from the current 14,000 planned homes to a staggering 43,000.

In their detailed response to the consultation, Liberal Democrat chiefs panned almost every aspect of the proposals which were tabled.

In a detailed response to the Government consultation “Changes to the current planning system” the Lib Dems reject almost every aspect of the proposals. These include

Coun Charles Tucker said “These proposals are quite shocking and represent the most extreme attempt by any Tory government to impose centralised control of local planning decisions.

The long-serving councillor echoed Mrs Baldwin’s ‘Stalinist’ criticism of the scheme.

“Local people are growing very angry as they realise the rural area they love will be devastated by the Conservative government promoting concreting over the countryside, massively increasing pressure on existing infrastructure and changing their environment for ever,” Coun Tucker added.

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