The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservative Government’s plans to reform the planning system, arguing that proposed changes will do nothing to alleviate the housing need in Stockport.
The Liberal Democrats believe the Conservatives’ proposals will not help those who are stuck on social housing waiting lists and express concern that zoning plans risk “leaving whole areas behind”.
Instead, the Party is calling for “an urgent social house building programme”, with proposals to build 100,000 social homes for rent every year.
Councillor Tom Morrison, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Cheadle said:
“This announcement comes as local residents are still being consulted on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF). The Government's plans do not make it clear how GMSF will be affected.
“To continue with the GMSF process now would throw more time and money at an obsolete plan, and risks giving up Green Belt land that could perhaps be protected. This is sadly typical of a Conservative Government that seems to dream up these schemes without thinking about how they will affect local people.”
Councillor Lisa Smart, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Hazel Grove said:
"Across Stockport, thousands of families are stuck on the housing waiting list. This is unacceptable.
“With councils across the country approving nine out of ten planning applications, it is obvious that reforming planning laws will not help people on waiting lists or struggling to afford a home in Stockport.
“The Liberal Democrats want to see 100,000 new social homes built in the right places across the country every year, and for Stockport to have the power to suspend the right to buy."
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing, Communities and Local Government Tim Farron said:
"Government Ministers have done nothing to persuade anyone that their planning reforms will alleviate the UK's housing crisis. Their “zoning” plans risk worsening inequality and leaving whole areas behind.
“The Conservatives’ plan is that new developments of up to 50 homes may no longer have to provide any affordable housing. This will further reduce the number of affordable homes being built. These proposals are an attack on local democracy and will deny people the chance to have their say on local development.
“The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent housebuilding programme of environmentally friendly social homes for rent. That is the only way to tackle the housing crisis head on.”