Cheltenham Liberal Democrats are calling for the Conservative government’s planning reforms to be scrapped. The Lib Dems want a better deal on affordable homes and the environment, with a bigger say for communities.
The Borough Council is suggesting ministers go back to the drawing board after councillors rejected Conservative proposals that:
- Let developers off the hook on affordable homes
- Reduce residents’ involvement in planning
- Go too slowly on environmental improvements
- Put green spaces at risk
If the Conservative party’s proposed reforms had been in place since 2012, 144 Cheltenham families could have been deprived an affordable home.
Councillor Max Wilkinson proposed a motion to scrap the reforms at July’s council meeting. Max said: “We are committed to delivering more affordable homes, land for business and protecting the environment too – including local greenspaces set out in our local plan. But the government’s proposals will take power away from local people and put them in the hands of Westminster and unelected bureaucrats who don’t know our area. That’s not the right approach. It’s about time the reforms were scrapped and replaced with an alternative that gives Cheltenham people a better deal.”
Local Conservatives refused to support the motion, showing support for the government’s toxic proposals.
Meanwhile, Cheltenham Borough Council is moving ahead with a £180million investment in affordable homes for young people and families. The council is also progressing the Golden Valley development, bringing new homes and jobs to the area.