East Suffolk Lib Dems say Govt's Planning Proposals are a Power Grab'
Lib Dems in East Suffolk challenge Govt's "power grab" on planning
Liberal Democrats have warned that the Government's planning proposals will "disempower" local authorities like East Suffolk District Council and allow developers to "run roughshod" over local communities' wishes.
A motion accepted at the Party's Autumn Conference, making it official party policy, lays bare the risks of the Government's proposals, which the Party argue amount to a Government "power grab" that will reduce investment in affordable housing urgently needed in East Suffolk and elsewhere.
In supporting the motion, Liberal Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to challenging the move through the Government's consultation process, and rejected the "reduction of local control" in places like East Suffolk.
Instead of going ahead with planning reforms, the party is calling on the Government to match the Lib Dem ambition to build 100,000 social homes for rent every year.
Cllr David Beavan District Councillor for Southwold and a spokesperson for East Suffolk Lib Dems said 'planning reforms will strip away local people's ability to shape those decisions and is a developer's charter. Liberal Democrats in East Suffolk wholeheartedly object to these proposals, which do nothing to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing, undermine our climate commitments and put our local heritage at risk."
District Councillor for Martlesham & Purdis Farm Councillor Edward Thompson said "With nine out of ten planning proposals approved nationwide, it's certainly not the planning system that is causing problems'.
Liberal Democrat Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:
"The Conservatives' planning power grab will disempower local people and local authorities alike, and lead to even fewer affordable homes being built.
"Instead of addressing the root cause of the housing crisis, the Tories' proposals serve the interests of wealthy developers, giving them carte blanche to run roughshod over local communities' wishes.
"Liberal Democrats at every level of Government will do everything in our power to ensure our voice is heard through the consultation process. We are also calling on the Government to act now to address the housing crisis, by matching the Liberal Democrats' ambition to build 100,000 social homes for rent every year."
Meanwhile, The National Assocation of Local Councils (NALC) agrees that the planning system could be improved and should have more emphasis on building design and is urging the government to re-think the changes it has proposed in the Planning White Paper ·
NALCO said, 'the main cause of the lack of affordable housing England has not been caused by a broken planning system, but by a broken housing delivery system'.