I held a meeting with Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, in the Commons. His Parliamentary Private Secretary was also present. It was one of many such meetings I hold in Parliament with Ministers to put Wokingham and West Berkshire’s case to the government.
I wanted to bring the Minister up to date with Wokingham constituency housing, planning and infrastructure issues. I reminded him of the projects which need financial help to ensure as new homes are built the necessary facilities including roads, schools and other public services are available. The government is backing the Shinfield and Arborfield by pass schemes, and the new primary schools. Discussion centred around the next set of schemes the extra development requires, including Wokingham roads.
I also wanted to stress again that as we have an up to date local plan which makes provision for substantial new housing, the Council does expect Planning Inspectors to respect local views as expressed in the Plan when considering applications that do not conform with local policy.
The Minister was generally supportive of what Wokingham is trying to do, and agreed about the need to put in sufficient infrastructure before new homes. I have told Councillors and the Chief Executive of Wokingham that as always I am happy to take up specific projects or requirements which need a Ministerial response.