Welcoming calls for stronger planning reform

Earlier this year, the Government pledged to re-write planning rules to help to speed up the building of more homes.  Cutting red tape, use land more efficiently, fast track planning permissions and putting local plans in place to give communities more control were all put forward.

We know that there is a national shortage of new homes.  And while we welcome the government’s proposals, which are definitely a step in the right direction to speed things up and ensure people can own their own home, the reforms needed to go further.   In addition, county councils needed to be given a greater role in creating the right conditions necessary to make it happen.

Like larger cities, we need to be able to take a more strategic overview to make sure the necessary infrastructure such as roads, surgeries and schools required for housing development are in place and funded in a more synchronised manner. The urgent delivery of more homes can be delivered by working ever more closely with our district and borough partners, who are responsible for planning control and ourselves as the county-wide lead for infrastructure.

I’ll continue to champion for change to speed up house-building, and in my role as Vice Chairman of the County Council Networks and their national spokesman on planning, housing and infrastructure, I will continue to lobby the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid to make the changes.

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