Labour MP Bill Esterson: New Tory-Lib Dem legislation paves way

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has hit out at government moves to allow developers to build on green belt land by taking planning decisions out of the hands of local councils. 

The move comes as legislation goes through parliament called the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. The bill will allow the government to take planning decisions away from local councils if developers object to what the council is doing.

Bill said: "The government is doing the bidding of developers. That should not come as a surprise to anyone as the Conservative Party receives large donations from developers. But what is at first sight a surprise is the way the Lib Dems have backed the move. 

"Local Lib Dems have made a big fuss about the green belt but when you take a closer look, you can see that it is local Lib Dems right here and their MPs who support the measure. 

"Lib Dem MPs voted for the government to be able to take planning decisions away from councils. The reality is, it is the Lib Dems who are allowing developers to build in Formby, Lydiate, Maghull and Aintree on our green belt."

Bill said he has been contacted by hundreds of constituents who have concerns about the government's policy to encourage building on the greenbelt.

Bill Esterson with Nina Killen, Peter Maguire and Catie PageBill said: "The Growth and Infrastructure Bill in parliament means that the government can impose development in Sefton whether we like it or not. I have consistently objected to this approach in parliament and applaud the thousands of people who have signed petitions and raised their concerns about the disgraceful way that the Lib Dems and their Tory friends are taking away the right of people in this community to decide how our community develops.
"Residents tell me that they are extremely worried by the prospect of development in the green belt. People in Formby, Lydiate, Maghull and Aintree believe they should have a say in where any houses are built. What the Tories and Lib Dems have done is to take away that right and put decisions in the hands of developers because of the financial relationship between some developers and this government. 

"People also tell me that if there are going to be houses here, then residents should be able to say exactly where. Residents in Sefton Central also want affordable homes set aside to rent or to buy. 

"People in my constituency are concerned at the impact on the roads, on schools and on our health services. The concerns about flooding should also be considered. But as a result of the Tories' and Lib Dems' legislation, those decisions could be taken by the government with no input from the people of Sefton Central.

"Any development should take into account the views of the people who live here. But those views are in danger of being overlooked once this legislation is passed. The National Trust has written to me to express exactly this concern and it is clear that if the developers run riot in Formby, Lydiate, Maghull and Aintree it will be thanks to the support of the Tories and Lib Dems in Sefton."


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