Local Liberal Democrats are opposing the Government power grab on planning. Under an existing government formula, the number of houses the District has to find land for outside the National Park could more than double.
County Councillor Sarah Osborne (Ouse Valley West and Downs) says, “Housing numbers should be decided on local need not what someone in London thinks is the right figure. In addition to this, a new law could mean local people and councils will have their voices gagged if a system of “zoning” is introduced – at the moment the need to get planning permission means residents can have a say in what happens.”
More houses, fewer affordable houses
Councillor Sean Macleod (Ringmer and Ouse Valley) says, “Currently in the District we have hundreds of sites with planning permission but not a single brick has been laid so we have developers sitting on agreed sites that just are not building. Instead of triggering an algorithm to produce a completely unrealistic new figure, the government should ensure that existing sites are built on first."
Lewes Bridge and Ringmer campaigner Janet Baah adds, “Our current housing supply numbers are around 300 a year. This has them jumping to over 700 a year. It’s just unacceptable, especially when you have so many agreed planning locations with permission to build sitting empty.”
And Chailey division campaigner Hazel Fell-Rayner says, “It’s not just more housing, it’s more unaffordable housing. The Government plans to increase the number of dwellings in a development before there is a requirement to deliver affordable housing from 10 to 40 or even 50!” This would mean Lewes District would have had over 37% fewer affordable homes built over the last 5 years.
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