Conservative housing targets are putting our countryside under threat, say St Albans Liberal Democrats

12 Apr 2022
Lib Dem logo bird projected on blockwork

On doorsteps right across our community, support for protecting our countryside couldn’t be clearer – and yet the Conservatives are refusing to listen.

Currently, local councils are set top-down targets by central government. A complex formula is used to see how many houses a council must allow developers to build.

The Conservative government is insisting on using out-of-date 2014 population figures to calculate our local housing targets. And so when developers wanting to make huge profits by building on land put in their planning applications, these have to be assessed by the council against the Government’s national planning policy and planning law. If an application is in line with this policy and legally sound, it's almost inevitable that it goes through. 

If the government used up-to-date figures to work out how many houses we really need, the targets would halve.

While Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper has been pressing government ministers for months to change the targets and protect our countryside, the local Conservatives seem uninterested in challenging the government. In fact, Boris Johnson's MP for Hitchin & Harpenden has been silent. 

And while Boris Johnson promised to protect the green belt – the Planning Inspector admitted (p11, para 47) that the government hasn’t actually put any green belt protections into the rules to stop speculative development.

The Conservatives have shown they can’t be trusted to fight for us. If they win this time, our community and our countryside loses.

We don't think they should be allowed to get away with it.

On doorsteps right across our community, support for protecting our countryside couldn’t be clearer – and yet the Conservatives are refusing to listen.

The local election on 5 May is our opportunity to tell the Government that we won’t let them get away with destroying our local countryside. If the Conservatives do well in this year’s elections, they will take it as a green light for their out-of-date housing targets. That’s why people are using these local elections to make their voice heard.

We need to tell Boris Johnson that enough is enough – we won’t let his Government put our green belt under threat. The Lib Dems believe that more housing is needed– but the right housing, to match local demand, and that local people can afford.

Supporters of all parties are lending their vote to the Lib Dems to send a message to the Conservatives that they can’t ignore.

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