Following my recent blog on planning, I have now received the enclosed statement from Pauline Jorgensen, the Executive Member for Housing on Wokingham Borough Council:
“We recognise that there is continuing demand for housing in the South East, and particularly in Wokingham Borough.
“This is partly driven by the Borough being recognised as one of the best places in the country to live, work, and raise a family.
“But we believe that the Government’s targets for Wokingham Borough are too high, and other areas need to take their fair share of new homes.
“In order to get a true measure of available housing in an area, we would like national housing policies to take into account homes which have planning permission but which developers are holding back on building.
“We call on the Government to allow local authorities to decide where it is most suitable to build houses, rather than letting appeal inspectors in Bristol overturn planning refusals for applications that are in breach of local planning policies.
“Nonetheless, we believe in a property-owning democracy in which people have a high-quality place to live and the chance to buy their own home.
“We continue to build affordable homes in suitable locations, via our wholly owned local authority housing companies, to enable more people to rent or buy, and particularly for young people to get onto the housing ladder.
“Last year we delivered over 500 affordable homes and are ambitious to continue and grow this activity in future years.”