Chaos over new housing

Waverley Lib Dems have condemned Conservative plans to take away residents’ right to a say over new planning developments.

By Dave Busby, Nov 10, 2020 4:11

The Conservative proposals would take away your right to a say on new housing or planning developments and put the future of green spaces in Waverley at risk.

The changes mean developers could go ahead with new housing schemes, without providing extra facilities and services - or local people getting the chance to object. Imagine being completely unable to comment on a development right next to your home.

The Lib Dems are opposing these changes, which could put our green space under threat - and mean fewer of the more affordable housing that Waverley needs.

Currently, developments of ten or more houses or flats can be required to include a minimum proportion of more affordable properties; the Tories are thinking of only putting that requirement on bigger schemes of 40 or even 50 properties.

The proposals could also mean that central government are able to instruct local councils how much new building they must permit, regardless of the views of residents.

Local Lib Dem councillor, and Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Paul Follows said:

“What we need is more housing that is actually affordable to local people, first-time buyers and key-workers. What we need even more than that is more, good-quality social housing and better infrastructure contributions to support that housing.

"These Conservative plans deliver neither. What it does is present the false premise that there are not enough homes being built and that it must be because local authorities are not giving permission. In places like Waverley, that is a thoroughly ridiculous notion.

"When developers do get to it, they are not then building houses to meet the need but the apparent demand - often for large, executive-type homes.

"The Conservative plan seeks to dilute further the already weak ability of local authorities to do something proactive. It reduces democratic input into the process and further empowers developers."   

Liberal Democrats will argue strongly against this massive power grab by Westminster. Instead of bulldozing ahead with these changes, we call on the Government to match the Lib Dem ambition to build 100,000 social homes for rent every year.

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