LGA Response to proposed English planning law changes

Lib Dems slam planning changes

In a recent message to Liberal Democrat Councillors, LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes said: “The prime minister has promised ‘the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the Second World War’. Not again please. Will the Government wake up to the FACT that councils aren’t the problem with getting homes built nor is the planning system?

He added: “How many times do we have to say that councils approve nine in 10 applications? The Government conveniently forgets the thousands of planning applications that are sitting there without a brick being laid. Hundreds of thousands of homes lay unbuilt. We need powers to force developers to build these out. Don’t demonise us and point the finger again at local government blaming us. We don’t need rhetoric – we need partnership”.

Responding to the Government’s announcement of planning reform in England which will allow new homes to be granted automatic permission to be built, Liberal Democrat MHCLG Spokesperson Tim Farron added:

“The announcement to reform England’s planning laws today reveals that once again Ministers are not serious about solving the housing crisis. It is not the lack of planning permission that prevents new, genuinely affordable, homes being built, but this Government’s refusal to properly invest in social housing.

“Rather than tinkering with planning laws, what Robert Jenrick should be doing is unveiling a huge housebuilding program of social homes for rent. We have already lost thousands of social rented homes as a result of the Government’s permitted developed changes to date.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see 100,000 new social homes to be built every year, as well as giving local authorities the ability to suspend the right to buy in their own areas, so that we can finally start tackling the crisis that’s crippling the UK’s housing market.”

Lib Dem Lords speak out against planning changes

Baroness Jenny Randerson addes: “I have spoken out in the Lords against Conservative Government regulations which will allow developers to build on top of existing blocks of flats up to 5 storeys. We had 5 Lib Dem speakers all fiercely opposed to this. This is going to be a major issue for local planning authorities”. A link to the speech can be found here:


Richard Darlington says

In the days when LAs employed architects and engineers along with estates departments social housing got built. To the point in 1971 that the waiting lists were reduced to near zero in my authority, Derby. Also in Coventry. Then Right to Buy came along allowing tenants to buy at much reduced costs and allowing three years to sell at a profit - all out of public funded houses. Allow RtoB but not with a the big discount and with a much longer resale time delay.

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