Lib Dem councillors are calling for the Conservative Government’s planning reforms to be dropped, with a greater focus on affordable housing and the environment while protecting the voice of communities over local developments.

At September's Full Council meeting, councillors Paul Hodgkinson and Paul Baker are seeking support for their call to scrap the Government’s planning bill – proposals which have become known as the “Developer’s Charter”.

The Government’s upcoming Planning Bill would mean:

  • Land in England carved into zones for housebuilding
  • Automatic planning permission granted
  • Power handed to developers to build on green spaces
  • Residents’ right to oppose developments removed
  • Changes to affordable housing quotas, meaning each year the number of affordable houses delivered in Gloucestershire would fall by hundreds.

Commenting on the motion, proposer Cllr Paul Hodgkinson said:

‘The planning reforms aim to rip up the existing rules, with a focus on automatic consent in areas earmarked for development.  Such proposals would see our communities lose any right to influence developments in their neighbourhoods or on their street, creating a “Developer’s Charter.”

‘Our residents deserve to have their voices protected, a view that I would hope is shared by Gloucestershire councillors of all political parties.  Local councils have a real chance to force the Government to press the reset button if we present a united front.’

Seconder of the motion, Cllr Paul Baker, said:

‘These proposals will be a disaster for generations to come.  Developers will be given the chance to ride roughshod over the views of their communities and local councils, who would have no right to comment on housing in areas earmarked for development. 

‘We know that the Conservative Party is well supported by housing developers, but Conservative councillors need to remember that they are elected to serve their local residents – so I hope they will want to support this motion.’

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