Lib Dems challenge Government’s “power grab” on planning

A motion agreed at the Party’s Autumn Conference lays bare the risks of the Government’s planning proposals, which the Lib Dems argue amount to a Government “power grab” that will reduce investment in affordable housing in York and cross the country. The Government’s planning proposals threaten to disempower local authorities like York and allow developers to run roughshod over local communities’ wishes.


In supporting the motion, Liberal Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to challenging the move through the Government’s consultation process, and rejected the proposed reduction of local control.

Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Cullwick, chair of Council’s Planning Committee, commented:

“It is local communities which are best placed to make sure planning decisions shape our city for the better. This Conservative Government’s planning reforms would strip all that away.

“Nationally, nine in 10 planning applications are approved by councils, while more than a million homes given planning permission in the last decade have not yet been built. This includes thousands of homes in York. Therefore, to suggest that the planning system is a barrier to housebuilding is wrong. If the Government’s proposals were implemented, many residents may find that they’d have lost their ability to object or comment on future applications.

“It is good to see Liberal Democrats at all levels doing as much as possible to ensure the voice of residents is heard through the consultation process. These Conservative proposals do nothing to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing, undermine our climate commitments and put our local heritage at risk.”

The text of the motion can be found here:

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