Planning & Housing

PLANNING & HOUSING

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We oppose the Tory power grab of the planning system as set out in the recent Government white paper. The proposals for zoning would reduce democracy and local accountability.

We want to live in a town and borough where our friends and family and especially our children can afford to live alongside us. We cannot forcibly push down the price of existing property and nor would we wish to, therefore, affordable housing must be generated in new developments. Government regulation requires every local council to have a five-year housing supply. If this is not met, then planning applications can come forward for sites which would not necessarily be expected with an up-to-date local plan. We need to recognise this and work to keep control of our borough. We recognise both the need for that extra housing and the implications of not achieving it.

We will only support new housing developments where they contain the required proportion of affordable housing. This is missing from the strategic sites envisaged by TWBC at Reg 18.

Tudeley and East Capel.

We support in principle garden-village type developments. However, there are substantial issues with flooding, which must be mitigated. We will closely monitor the master planning process throughout and will not allow development without the necessary measures.

Brownfield sites.

The burden of extra development (80%) has fallen upon the town and the result is there just isn’t an abundance of brownfield alternatives to rural developments. Where they do exist we would prioritise those as sites for development. However, we will not lie to the public and pretend this a viable option to reach the full number of houses that central government requires us to build.

As liberals we support the freedom of our councillors and activists to campaign as their conscience dictates on developments that directly affect their local community. This is why when the Local Plan was voted on in Full Council, Liberal Democrat councillors were given a free vote.