Conservatives' scrutiny of Labour begins as Nigel Huddleston fears chancellors planning reform - The Droitwich Standard

Conservatives' scrutiny of Labour begins as Nigel Huddleston fears chancellors planning reform

Droitwich Editorial 9th Jul, 2024   0

DROITWICH and Evesham’s re-elected member of parliament has raised concerns surrounding the new Labour government’s planning reforms which could impact a local project.

Nigel Huddleston MP believes the new Labour chancellor, Rachel Reeves’ proposals will take planning decisions away from local authorities.

In her first speech as new chancellor, Rachel Reeves discussed plans for the ‘reform of the national planning policy framework’ which will ‘create a new taskforce to accelerate stalled housing sites’ including the Worcestershire Parkway proposals.

The Worcestershire Parkway development is a potential collaborative project between six developers to build a 10,000 home town on land surrounding the railway station over the next 30 years.

In a released statement, Mr Huddleston recognised the need for more housing but wants to make it clear developments are not viable unless the relevant supporting infrastructure is in place.

“During the election campaign I expressed grave concerns about Labour’s instincts to make top down decisions that impact the countryside from offices in Whitehall, and I am alarmed that within days of being elected, that is exactly what they appear to be doing.”

“I believe it is vitally important that local stakeholders keep a strong voice in decisions that affect the area that they know best.”

“While we all know we need more housing, it has to be in the right place, on the right scale and with appropriate supporting infrastructure – including transport, health and education services.”

“The reason why the land around Worcestershire Parkway has not yet been developed is precisely because of such concerns – as expressed by existing local residents and others,” he added.

Before Labour outlines in full its plans for planning reform the impact the potential changes will have on localised constituencies such as Mr Huddleston’s is purely speculative.

Mr Huddleston added: “I can’t comment much further until I have seen Labour’s detailed proposals. I am always willing to work constructively across political parties on sensible ideas.

“But unless local views are taken into consideration and the location, scale and supporting infrastructure of their proposals are clear, they will not be getting my support.”


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