Lewes District Council calls on Lewes MP to oppose government planning reforms

Lewes District Council has supported a motion calling on Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, to oppose the government’s proposed planning reforms.

Councillor Robert Banks, ward councillor for Plumpton, East Chiltington, Streat and St John Without, brought the motion at Full Council on 23rd November.

Councillor Banks said:

“The cross-party opposition to the planning reforms is well documented and reflective of the fact that these proposed changes to the system are chronically ill-conceived.  They will muzzle residents and expose the UK to swathes of unwanted development. 

“I hope that Maria Caulfield MP will join the growing number of Conservative MPs who share these concerns and in the strongest possible terms, convey her misgivings about them to the Secretary of State.”

If the reforms are implemented, a process of ‘zoning’ will designate land into one of three categories: for growth, for renewal or for protection.   Planning applications in the new growth areas will receive automatic permission to build and applications in the renewal category will receive a permission in principle.

Additionally, a new government algorithm will mean the housing target for Lewes district would nearly double to 800 properties a year and potentially lead to 37% less affordable homes.

Councillor Emily O’Brien, Cabinet Member for Planning, said:

“Lewes District Council has been at the forefront of efforts to oppose these reforms.

“When you have politicians of the right, the left and centre ground, all saying the same thing, it is safe to say that the issue being examined needs further thought.

“I’m not at all surprised that my colleagues have supported this motion. The government has managed to unify politicians of all sides against these planning reforms and I hope Maria Caulfield will lobby hard to have them changed or ditched altogether.”