Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter, has called on the Government to rethink some of the proposals contained within its Planning for the Future white paper and to afford greater protection to rural counties such as Suffolk.
After speaking with many residents, community groups and also local councillors, Dr Poulter has pressed the case with Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, to revisit some of the proposals, urging that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate or fitting in more rural counties like Suffolk.
Whilst there are clear merits within the proposals, Dr Poulter continues to have a number of concerns, most notably around the use of blanket algorithms and rigid zoning systems to determine future housing need. In writing to the Secretary of State, Dr Poulter stressed that decisions around how many homes and where they should be located is a matter which should be decided locally, in full consultation with residents, parish councils and local authorities.
Dr Poulter said “Whilst I broadly welcome the Government’s commitment to revisit and refresh the planning process, making it simpler and creating greater opportunities for more families to get onto the housing ladder, the reforms should not be at all costs – one size does not fit all, particularly in a predominantly rural county like Suffolk.”
“I am supportive of the need to build more homes in Suffolk and know that many residents accept this need too, but any development should be appropriate, protecting our greenbelt land wherever possible and retaining the fabric, character and heritage of our rural villages and small towns. It is vital that any new homes should be delivered through a locally-led planning system and communities should retain the right to shape the areas in which they live.”