Conservative leaders at Wealden District Council have intensified their campaign to persuade the Government to lower the number of homes the area is obliged to provide in future years is continuing.
Council leaders recently met with Stuart Andrew, the new Minister of Housing, to express their concerns at the current targets and urge the government to review those housing delivery expectations.
The meeting was facilitated by Wealden MP Nus Ghani and attended by Wealden council leader Bob Standley and Councillor Ann Newton, the council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for planning
It follows several other meetings with government ministers including Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and is part of a concentrated campaign to Whitehall about the high number of homes Wealden is obliged to provide under current guidelines.
Councillor Newton said the main points of discussion included the way the five-year land supply (5YLS) is calculated, the use of outdated population projection data and the importance of delivering key infrastructure alongside new homes in Wealden.
She said, “We continue to make it very clear our numbers are far too high and completely unacceptable. We need government to reduce the number of homes we are required to provide. The minister understood our frustration and said work is continuing and government is reviewing the position.”
The Minister confirmed that the Government was reviewing the position.
Nusrat Ghani said she was pleased to have secured the further meeting with the Minister, to follow up on the points raised during the parliamentary debate in March.
"I continue working with the Council leaders to bring the level of frustration at the current housing targets for Wealden to the Government’s attention and I am pleased that the Minister has committed to continuing working with us on the matter. I have had many meetings over the last seven years with the Department of Housing, and a huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes to address the current situation. I will continue supporting the Council in making representations to the Government and in producing a Local Plan.”