Government Planning Reforms are Misguided

June 23, 2021 7:00 PM

Gate at Warrington Council BldgConservatives on Warrington Borough Council failed to present any serious policy proposals on the Green Belt or affordable housing in their motion to Council on 21st June.

RyanBCllr Ryan Bate said: Liberal Democrats have a strong record on protecting the Green Belt. The Tories cannot have their cake and eat it. They blame the Council for considering Green Belt development while having a national housing methodology which makes it difficult to avoid.

Higher densities in the Town Centre may reduce the pressure on Green Belt, but good planning requires more balance. We want to regenerate the town with desirable places to live and social and green infrastructure.

We need new models to make housing genuinely affordable. Housing classed as 'affordable' under government schemes remains incredibly expensive and out of reach to many. It is naive to suggest that brownfield sites will automatically make housing more affordable. Bold and fresh thinking is needed with a far greater investment in social housing stock.

wp-content/uploads/imarks.jpgCllr Ian Marks added: Our Parish Councillors have taken an active role on the South Warrington Parish Councils Working Group which produced reports and a video stressing the need for the Local Plan to prioritise brownfield over Green Belt with genuinely affordable housing for young people and others. Large detached houses just make more money for developers rather than meet community needs.

It is hypocritical for the Conservatives to put forward this motion when it is their Government that is proposing planning reforms that are undemocratic and ill-thought out. There is widespread alarm amongst traditional Tory voters about these reforms as was evidenced at Chesham and Amersham. The reforms would remove requirements on affordable homes, take power from local communities and hand it to wealthy property developers instead.