The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservative Government’s plans to reform the planning system, arguing that proposed changes will do nothing to alleviate the housing crisis in Reading.
The Liberal Democrats believe the Conservatives’ proposals will not help those who are stuck on waiting lists and express concern that zoning proposals risk “leaving whole areas behind”.
Instead, the Party is calling for “an urgent house building programme”, with proposals to build 100,000 social homes for rent every year.
Cllr Ricky Duveen, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Planning in Reading said:
"Across Reading some 3,200 families are stuck on the housing waiting list and the list is growing by the day. This is unacceptable.
With councils across the country approving nine out of ten planning applications, it is obvious that reforming planning laws will not help people on waiting lists or struggling to afford a home in our town.
We have been the local champions for affordable housing in Reading for many years and these proposals are a slap in the face to those who cannot afford the high prices of property in our town.
The Liberal Democrats want to see 100,000 new social homes built every year, and for Reading to have the power to suspend the right to buy, so that we can finally start tackling the housing crisis in Reading."
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing, Communities and Local Government Tim Farron said:
"Government Ministers have done nothing to persuade anyone that their planning reforms will alleviate the UK's housing crisis. Their “zoning” plans risk worsening inequality and leaving whole areas behind.
The Conservatives’ plan is that new developments of up to 50 homes may no longer have to provide any affordable housing. This will further reduce the number of affordable homes being built. These proposals are an attack on local democracy and will deny people the chance to have their say on local development.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent housebuilding programme of environmentally friendly social homes for rent. That is the only way to tackle the housing crisis head on."