Many constituents have written to me with concerns over the government’s proposed changes to planning policy. I have raised these with the Minister. He assures me the aim is to allow more local decision making. Councils will have the power to protect areas from development where they judge that right, by stating so in the local plan.
I have also talked to Wokingham and West Berkshire Councillors about this. I have pointed out that they can and should use the local plan to protect what needs protecting. In the case of Wokingham the Council has identified sites for more than 10,000 new houses, preferring to concentrate development on four core strategy areas. This makes it even more important to protect the rest with suitable designations in the plan.
Wokingham is more than doing its bit for extra housebuilding with the identified sites. The Council has a local plan, and can take advantage of the changes to policy to strengthen the protection of green areas they wish to keep.