Many of the local issues people raise with me in the emails and on the doorsteps come from planning problems. Wokingham experienced a rapid rate of new development in the 1980s with the construction of Lower Earley and Woosehill. The campaign I and others waged then scaled Wokingham down from a fast growth area. Under the Labour government development still continued at a pace which eroded green gaps, placed more pressure on our stretched road and transport system and increased the demands on public services generally. Two of the worst features of this government’s approach has been to insist on much higher density development and to allow town cramming with backland development.
The attractions of Wokingham and West Berkshire include a lot of good housing with decent plots and quiet residential roads, green gaps between villages and towns, and that pleasing mixture of town and countryside. There comes a point where intense development with high density new projects changes that characteristic too much. That is why I have worked hard to persuade the Conservative party that we need to change national planning policies if elected to government.
A Conservative governemnt would end the top down housing targets set by Whitehall and regional government. It would give to West Berkshire and Wokingham Councils powers to make local decisions about how much development is appropriate and where it should go. Given the pressures on four different areas within Wokingham Borough today, the sooner we get such a change at the top the better. I would then press the Councils to draw up new local plans that are sensitive to local wishes.
Promoted by Christine Hill on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU