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Government planning power grab

November 10, 2020 6:15 PM

Mid Sussex Lib Dems warn that the Government's planning proposalswill allow developers to ride roughshod over local communities' wishes

Lib Dems in Mid Sussex have led calls to challenge Government's power grab on planning. A motion proposed by Liberal Democrats at Mid Sussex District Council laid bare the risks of the Government's proposals, which the Party argues amount to a Government power grab that will reduce investment in affordable housing in Mid Sussex.

Cllr Alison Bennett in Hurst Meadows

Cllr Alison Bennett in Hurst Meadows. The land has been given to the Parish Council as part of an agreement with developers

One of the proposals will allow developments of up to 50 units to be exempt from making 'Section 106' contributions for social housing for "an initial period of 18 months". This will undermine the link between new developments and delivering homes that are genuinely affordable for local people. Since 2015/16, Mid Sussex has itself obtained 146 affordable homes from sites with less than 50 units.This will be acutely felt in villages like ours where homes are least affordable, and developments tend to be smaller.

In addition, proposals in the planning white paper significantly reduce any local say in planning. Residents will have just one chance to comment on a district plan when areas get 'zoned' for future development. The current system where a second chance to comment is allowed on the detail of each planning application will be taken away. Cllr Rodney Jackson says:"People living in Mid Sussex are best placed to make sure planning decisions shape our communities for the better. But this Conservative Government's planning reforms will strip all that away."