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Gary Fuller | Councillor for Sandgate & West Folkestone

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Lib Dems challenge Govt’s “power grab” planning proposals

September 27, 2020 11:50 AM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

In a policy motion adopted today at the Liberal Democrats' Autumn Conference, the Party has warned that the Government's planning proposals will "disempower" councils and allow developers to "run roughshod" over local communities' wishes.

The motion lays bare the risks of the Government's proposals, which the Party argue amount to a Government "power grab" that will reduce investment in affordable housing, damage public scrutiny of planning decisions, and potentially undermine climate commitments.

By supporting the motion, the Liberal Democrat members reaffired their commitment to challenging the move through the Government's consultation process and reject the "reduction of local control".

Liberal Democrat Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson Tim Farron said:

"Planning decisions have incredible power to shape the places we live for the better. Local people are clearly best placed to decide what "better" looks like in their area, and to know what their community really needs.

"Yet the Conservatives' planning power grab will disempower local people and local authorities alike, and lead to even fewer affordable homes being built. Instead of addressing the root cause of the housing crisis, the Tories' proposals serve the interests of wealthy developers, giving them carte blanche to run roughshod over local communities' wishes.

"As this motion shows, the Liberal Democrats wholeheartedly object to these proposals. We'll be doing everything in our power to ensure our voice is heard through the consultation process. We are also calling on the Government to act now to address the housing crisis, by matching the Liberal Democrats' ambition to build 100,000 social homes for rent every year."