Liberal Democrats raise concerns about affordable Conservative government plans

Last week the Chancellor announced that the government will allow developers to build on brownfield land without planning permission.

This is the latest in a series of attacks on local communities and fails to address the real problems, Liberal Democrats in Local Government have said.

Cllr Mike Ross, Hull’s Lib Dem Group Leader, said:

“It is clear that George Osborne sees no role for local communities in tackling the shortage of affordable homes.  For all the talk from the government of giving more powers to those on the ground, this is a step in the wrong direction.

“Planning helps to create strong communities and great homes. Abandoning planning measures will help to create urban sprawl, poorly planned buildings and problems for generations to come.

“Liberal Democrats believe that instead the bureaucracy that is the Planning Inspectorate should be scrapped, which would reduce the biggest delays in the planning system”.

Other announcements that caused concern were:

  • Part of the £12bn in welfare savings would be a £1.4bn saving from housing benefit by reducing rents paid to social landlords. The IFS estimate that this will mean a loss of £2.5bn to the Housing Revenue Account used by councils and housing associations for investing in new housing.
  • The budget also announced that Councils will have to hand back any extra income from charging market rents to people on higher incomes instead of investing it in local housing.
  • This follows the recent right-to-buy announcements to force local councils to sell off their stock in wealthy areas to pay housing association to sell of their own social housing stock.

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