Join Statement with North East Herts CLP: Government White Paper on Planning
North East Hertfordshire Constituency Labour Party and Hertford & Stortford Constituency Labour Party take this opportunity to express their mutual concern in regards to the content of the government’s white paper on planning. In his proposal, Boris Johnson has promised to “tear down” a planning system he describes as ineffective and “start again.”
The government’s plan to mandate local councils to draw up multi-year schemes and divide our local areas into zones either for building or preservation would be disastrous for local communities. In zones marked for building, outline planning permission would automatically be granted for developers, handing them a powerful blank slate and effectively leaving residents powerless and without a voice.
The government’s indication that they would deny residents a say in the future of their area represents a worrying erosion of local democracy. It will shut local residents out of the discussion on the future of our communities, enforce the suburbanisation our beautiful rural areas and create landscapes of unbroken development across our districts.
Our local Labour Parties recognise the importance of building new homes. The country is gripped by a housing crisis manufactured by successive Tory governments and we need to build - but we must built right.
In our communities, we want housing that lasts for generations, neighbourhoods that are connected and schemes that enrich our towns. Every application must include genuinely affordable housing and social housing, without loopholes that allow developers to default on these commitments.
Bypassing the traditional planning system and sidelining the voices of local residents will not produce developments that benefit the local community and will inevitably only benefit company shareholders.