Bill Esterson calls on Tory-Lib Dem Government to adopt regional

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has called on the Tory-Lib Dem Government to radically alter its planning policy to save valuable greenbelt from being concreted over.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Bill Esterson called on Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to come up with a "more regional approach to development".
The Labour MP referred to plans to build more than 500 homes in Lydiate while quizzing the Minister in the House of Commons.
Bill asked Mr Pickles: "A developer in Lydiate in my constituency has made very clear its intention to build in the green belt. This is of great concern to people in that community. Isn't the way to protect the greenbelt to introduce a more regional approach to development so the new housing that is needed can be built while protecting both the green belt and much valued urban green space?"
While Mr Pickles refused to consider the proposal, Bill said he would continue to put pressure on the Tories and Lib Dems to revise their policy and allow for a more "joined up, regional approach to planning and housing need".
Bill said: "The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats seem intent on allowing developers free reign to build where and when they want on our greenbelt.
"They have relaxed planning legislation in favour of developers and this is putting our greenbelt land under threat.
"The excuse they are using is the need for more housing.
"But the government's approach to this is flawed. They have abandoned a sensible approach to identify suitable locations for much needed housing.
"Instead of having a regional planning policy, which could see houses built where it makes most sense, each local council is forced to identify areas for housing, even when the only areas available are greenbelt or urban green spaces.
"That is why we are seeing developers rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of building in Lydiate and Formby. That's why our greenbelt, our valuable agricultural land and our precious local countryside is under-threat."



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