Dr Ben Spencer MP has welcomed news that the Government is to look again at the proposed algorithm for housing targets following strong representation from conservative MPs to the proposals put forward in the Government’s consultation on Changes to the Current Planning System.
The plans had proposed to prioritise house building in areas of high demand in an attempt to address issues of affordability, which would see the majority of new homes built in the South East of England. Dr Spencer submitted responses to both this and the Government’s Planning For The Future White Paper consultation, highlighting concerns over the proposed algorithm and the need for planning policy to reflect the Government’s ambitious plans for levelling up across the UK. The responses stated: “Our planning system can only address the issue of supply, but this must go hand in hand to address issues of demand, creating opportunities throughout the country through growth and greater connectivity. I would therefore urge the Government to be even more ambitious still and ensure our planning policy supports and builds on the ambitious plans to support levelling up across the UK, as well as out broader commitment to environmental protection”.
These submissions also called for the algorithm to ensure our natural environment is protected by taking into account flood plain, Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty when setting housing targets for local authorities. The full submissions are available here and here.
Commenting on the recent developments, Dr Spencer said:
I am pleased the Government is listening to our concerns and constructive feedback. We need to ensure planning policy is not only able to deliver our target of 300,000 homes, but that this supports our levelling up agenda, and is achieved while also protecting our existing communities and natural environment. I look forward to the publication of revised plans and the ongoing discussions around planning policy, to ensure we can deliver the best outcomes for Runnymede and Weybridge and the nation as a whole.