SEEC criticises government over Planning system proposals

Friday, 2 October, 2020

Submitting the response to the MHCLG consultation on changing the planning system the Chair of South East England Councils (SEEC) Cllr Roy Perry said:

“This consultation is really not needed – the planning system is not the problem as to why more homes are not being built.

 400,000 homes, granted planning permission over the last 10 years, remain unbuilt, in many cases, due to developers and housebuilders hoarding planning consents.

 The inadequate time to respond on something of this magnitude, given the impact these proposals will have on local councils, borders on the ludicrous.

 Government appears intent to ram through planning changes without giving local councils who are working tirelessly responding to Covid-19 little time to reflect. This could have ramifications for south east councils due to the significant increase in housebuilding required under the new standard method – one suspects another mutant algorithm in their midst.

 These ‘reforms’ distract attention from the need for more affordable housing. Most Councils, irrespective of party, across the South-East want to see government focus and energy prioritised on increasing investment in housing for rent and sale, not on dismantling the existing planning system.

I believe there is a widespread view held by councillors across this region that Ministers should reconsider proposed changes to the current planning system (and indeed the need for a White Paper) and instead work with local councils to ensure delivery of local housing that is affordable and accessible for local communities”.


Notes to editors:

  1. Councillor Roy Perry is available for interview.
  2. View the SEEC consultation response.
  3. With most local councils as members, SEEC works in partnership to make the region a great place to live, work and do business
  4. SEEC is a recognised cross-party regional grouping that cooperates with the Local Government Association (LGA).
  5. 58% of 275 councillors when polled recently ranked housebuilding as a high priority for regional investment as part of the Government’s economic recovery plans
  6. SEEC commissioned Savanta ComRes to survey the opinion of 275 Councillors across South East England between 13 and 23 July 2020: view here
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