Ruffley: Brand New Government Threat to Concrete Over Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market's Green Spaces

Tuesday, 16 December, 2003

David Ruffley MP today warned that new proposals by the Government would further reduce the voice of St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Mid Suffolk District Council and local people on planning, opening the door to green spaces and Green Belt being concreted over.

In a report published in the last week by the Treasury on housing supply, they want to fine local authorities who do not meet regional housing targets. They also want the regional housebuilding targets to be INCREASED. Such moves would be on top of new planning laws before Parliament that will strengthen the role of regional planning, taking powers away from local councils. Liberal Democrats are supporting this disastrous move to regional planning.

David said: 'The Labour Government hasn't listened to the overwhelming public concern about its proposed changes to the planning process. It wants to strengthen the role of regional politicians and reduce the role of local councils - weakening the ability of local people to have their say on local developments across Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market..

'Increasing crude, regional housebuilding targets is not the answer to encourage good quality, affordable housing. I fear that sprawling concrete housing estates could be dumped by Whitehall on environmentally sensitive areas and green spaces across Suffolk, irrespective of local wishes and local needs.'