Aylesbury Lib Dems demand planning 'reform' pause is used to tackle housing crisis

Calls to tackle housing supply and deliver affordable green homes across Buckinghamshire.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 3:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 3:08 pm

A pause in the government's planning reform is the perfect opportunity to tackle the housing supply crisis and deliver affordable green homes in Buckinghamshire.

That's the view of the Aylesbury Lib Dem Group which is looking forward to what measures the government may introduce to achieve effective house building.

Responding to the announcement, Councillor Gurinder Wadhwa, the Lib Dem spokesperson on planning at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “This pause announced by the Government has to be an opportunity to deliver lasting and engaging planning policy to tackle the housing supply crisis and deliver affordable green homes in Buckinghamshire.

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Councillor Gurinder Wadhwa says the 'pause' in panning reform is the perfect opportunity to address housing crisis

"The Government is on the ropes when it comes to planning. The constant tinkering with planning rules and ending local people's say over development in their area was the last straw for many. The Liberal Democrats want to see development that puts local community first, not profit and will deliver more carbon zero, high-quality, affordable homes."

The controversial reforms pushed by the Conservatives was the number one issue in Buckinghamshire during the Chesham and Amersham by-election, decisively won by the Liberal Democrats.

Last week at Buckinghamshire Full Council, the Lib Dems backed the implementation of the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) to safeguard the area's green spaces and stop a developer's bounty hunt by putting in place a wide range of planning policies. But, still, in Bucks, they claim, there are no safeguards in the Chilterns or South Bucks, including around Chesham and Amersham, as the Tories withdrew the local plans last year. In the same meeting, it was revealed there are thousands of people on the 'council housing waiting list'.

Cllr Wadhwa added: "At our conference this weekend the Lib Dems debated and voted on a policy paper 'Building Communities' which sets out that the most effective way to achieve house building is with the consent and active involvement of our local communities. I am looking forward to what Michael Gove is going to do with this 'pause'.

"There needs to be a wholesale rethink to these proposals, not simply pause and start again with the same reforms. The Liberal Democrats won’t stop campaigning to put community above profit when building the homes that are needed.”