Date issued: 23 October 2020
Councillors last night expressed concerns over plans for a radical shakeup of the planning system, by unanimously agreeing a motion to oppose the Government’s Planning for the Future White Paper and press local MPs to do the same.
In a letter signed by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Cory, on behalf of the Full Council, local MPs Will Quince, Priti Patel and Bernard Jenkin are urged to support the council and reject Government proposals to cut through planning red tape and promote a huge rise in house building.
The Government says the country needs to build 300,000 homes a year and to meet that target, intends to scrap some existing planning regulations.
It also wants to review the housing target formula, which determines how many homes each area needs to build every year. If the White Paper becomes law, Colchester’s target would almost double from 920 to 1,612
Speaking after last night’s meeting of the Full Council, Cllr Cory said: “The Planning for the Future White Paper, left unchallenged, will become an unrestrained developer’s charter and inflict further and ongoing planning misery on our residents. If any policy were designed to place an even greater strain on local services and infrastructure, this would be it.
“We want more checks and balances, not fewer, and all our residents to be protected with stronger, not weaker, planning laws and lower housing targets from this Conservative government.
“I would urge all three of our local MPs to support the council, our residents and local democracy and held defeat these ill-conceived plans.”
The letter in full:
I am writing to let you know that at its meeting of Full Council on 21 October Colchester Borough unanimously approved and adopted the following motion about the Planning for the Future White Paper:
“This Council notes the publication of the Planning White Paper Planning for the Future and expresses its concerns about the proposals it contains.
Current planning laws are already in favour of development with 90% of planning applications approved and approximately one million unbuilt permissions sitting with developers nationwide.
This Council therefore resolves to object to any potential detrimental national and local planning policies and calls on our three MPs representing Colchester Borough to support the following consultation responses:
In addition to making these points to the government, we ask that our three MPs support Colchester Borough Council’s ‘Planning for the Future: White Paper August 2020’ Consultation response.
I am writing to you in accordance with the terms of the motion to ask that you raise the points included in the motion within or to the government, and to ask that you support our response to the consultation on the White Paper, a copy of which is attached.
I look forward to receiving your response to this motion, in due course.