• Hertford & Stortford CLP

Councillor Jill Sortwell Writes In Regards to the Government's White Paper On Planning

Updated: Sep 2

We all moan about planning and concreting over the countryside, but we need to be very concerned about Boris Johnson's proposal to 'tear down our ineffective planning system and start again'.


The government is concerned that there is not enough land for housing and that council planning obstructs developers from being able to build quickly. We know that developers are annual profit making businesses for their shareholders. We know this is for their benefit.


In Bishop's Stortford we want housing that lasts for generations, neighbourhoods that are connected and delightful to live in, with housing for those who are most in need and can least afford it.

Councillor Jill Sortwell (right)

The government is attacking planning authorities and local groups for being obstructive. In fact the East Herts District Plan positively 'enables' development and the Town council and Civic Federation can help improve quality.


However, let's first consider how effective that influence currently is. Instead of "objecting" to every big scheme and being ignored by East Herts, we need to help planners and developers amend and improve housing layout, conserve landscape, ensure easy access, make space for children's play, guarantee convenience shops, health services and turn our neighbourhood plans into actions for positivity.


Let us do two things: firstly, fiercely oppose Boris Johnson's 'tearing down' the planning system which gives developers easier profits; secondly, use our local influence more effectively to get better places for future generations to live and work in.


I would suggest we write to our MP's asking that they vote against this proposition. We can also email- planning for the future@communities.go.uk during the consultation period that runs until 29th Oct.


These proposals are not for our benefit and will impact unfavourably for generations to come.


Cllr Jill Sortwell

Meads Ward, Bishop's Stortford Town Council

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