Oldham Labour welcomes the ‘pause’ to the introduction of the Tories’ ‘Developers’ Charter’ intended to take away residents’ right to have their say on planning applications and make it easier for developers to build what they want, where they want.
Oldham Labour believes the Government should scrap the so called planning reforms and start again. The current planning system is already tilted in favour of developers, with no objectors’ right to appeal a planning decision and too many decisions on planning applications being made using ‘permitted development rights’ meaning local Councils – and residents – can only watch as homes are extended or shops turned into poor quality housing.
Oldham Labour knows that more homes are urgently needed for people who have no home or live in one that doesn’t meet their needs – the solution to this is to invest more in making Brownfield sites financially viable, to direct Homes England funding into social housing and to make sure the over 1million homes already given planning permission by local authorities are actually built.
Oldham Labour calls for:
- More powers for local councillors to decide planning applications and to reject planning applications to build on so called protected land
- Quicker and more effective rights to acquire empty properties and derelict buildings for housing – and funding to make this happen
- Developers be made to build planning permissions already given before asking for more
- Withdrawing the proposal to zone land and remove democracy from the planning process
- A national Brownfield First policy backed by substantial government funding
- A joined up approach to provide infrastructure (GPs, schools, and so on) to support new homes funded either by developers or government
Cabinet Member for Housing, Hannah Roberts said ‘Labour stands up for local democracy and the right of all of us to have a say in developments in our neighbourhoods. But the issues with the current planning system still need to be dealt with even if the Tories abandon their so called planning reforms. Councillors should have more rights to decide planning applications locally. Oldham needs investment in the planning service to provide a faster service for applicants and better support to residents, not yet more cuts in funding. Oldham is not Surrey Heath and we know better than Michael Gove what is best for us’