The Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor has written to Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP to push for more powers to local councils to reject inappropriate development.
This is after a motion was passed unanimously at a meeting of Watford Borough Council’s Full Council which called for changes to planning law. These included more power to challenge unrealistic housing targets for Watford, the ability to insist on improved infrastructure before new developments and scrapping viability rules that allow developers to get off the hook and not providing affordable housing.
The government have committed to a massive increase in the numbers of homes it is building to 300,000 year, with many of these being built in ‘urban areas above or around train stations’ according to the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP. Watford has seen its annual housing targets tripled and the local council was criticised by the government earlier in the year for not building quickly enough.
Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said, ‘Everyone deserves a decent, good quality home, particularly people who find themselves priced out of the housing market in Watford. It is vital that decisions about our town are made here. We must be able to reject inappropriate development and challenge unrealistic targets imposed by central government.
‘We should have the power to force developers to provide better infrastructure for our town before we have new buildings here. Government loopholes that are used by developers to avoid building affordable homes for local residents must end. The system has to change and I am pleased that councillors from all political parties have joined me in sending that message to the government.’