Sunday, 24 January 2021

Government rethink on planning welcomed

THE leader of Wokingham Borough Council has welcomed the Government’s decision to revise its shake- up of the planning system.

A computer-based formula used to decide where houses should be located has been “updated” to focus more on cities and urban areas in the North and Midlands.

Ministers said money for brownfield sites would be distributed more fairly outside the South-East.

The Government wants to build 300,000 new homes in England each year by the mid-2020s but came under fire from critics who complained about the countryside being “concreted over”.

Councillor John Halsall, who represents Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe, opposed the White Paper, called Planning for the Future, saying it would mean Wokingham borough having to accept 1,600 new homes a year, double the current total.

He was backed by former prime minister and Maidenhead MP Theresa May.

This week, Councillor Halsall said: “We are cautiously optimistic that the Government will amend the housing formula to achieve a better spread of homes across the country.

“Nonetheless, we have to keep pressing our case. I will continue working with the council’s executive and our local Conservative MPs to persuade the Government to provide housing numbers which are fair to our residents and sustainable.”

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