Following misleading reports to residents that the Government was about to increase the numbers of new homes that had to be built across the Lewes District Maria Caulfield MP, urgently met with the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government to discuss. What she discovered is that the Government has no plans to increase housing numbers across the district and the reason for the proposed increase in numbers is down to the Green/Lib Dem led Lewes District Council failing to update their Local Plan meaning any protection for our green spaces falls after May.
Lewes District Council’s Local Plan is five years old in May meaning that it needs updating or the housing target will revert to a figure of 782 rather than a figure decided locally.
The MHCLG wrote to the District Council in January on the issue and to the Lib Dem Leader of the Council on 3rd February offering help from the Government Chief Planner. They are yet to receive any response to confirm what is happening with the Local Plan or that the offer of help will be taken.
Maria Caulfield MP has said “The Lib Dems and their coalition on Lewes District Council are about to let their local plan reach five years old without updating it or letting the Ministry of Housing know where they are with the matter. They are instead playing politics with local housing targets, blaming the government for forcing increased housing on them. In fact if Lewes District Council were to update their local plan and keep the Ministry of Housing informed then they would not have any targets set by anyone else. Lewes District Council were warned months ago that this needed doing.”
“The Ministry has made clear that should Lewes District Council submit their Local Plan officials will look at it urgently to ensure it gets through in time. Rather than blaming the government, Lewes District Council must increase efforts to update the Local Plan as soon as possible so that decisions can be made locally rather than in Whitehall. As a passionate and successful campaigner who has helped local communities in villages and towns like Newick, Wivelsfield and Chailey see off development, I am angry and frustrated that local councillors are playing politics with such an issue. I urge them to work with me to get their local plan done and protect our green spaces.”