30 Aug 2013

Boles Criticised Over Latest Proposals

Insights, Property, Publications

‘Countryside campaigners have criticised ministers who are attempting to pressure councils into building more homes on countryside land.

Nick Boles, the planning minister, wants there to be a legal obligation for town halls to build affordable homes if local house prices and rents rise above a set limit.

However, critics have warned that the government was moving away from protecting the countryside against unnecessary development.

Mr Boles hit back at his critics saying: “Anyone currently in a house is living on what used to be a green field, why is it OK for them but not others?”

Neil Sinden, the policy and campaigns director of the CPRE, said: “Not only is the idea of affordability going to be unworkable and won’t deliver the desired results of more affordable housing, it’s likely to increase pressure on the countryside unnecessarily.”

Mr Boles insisted that the new guidance would help local communities to protect green spaces.

Separately, the Evening Standard reports that Richmond Council leader Nick True said the rules were only the latest attempt by Mr Boles to meddle in council affairs.

Lord True said: “We will need to look at the details. However, there are many people that believe a period of silence from Mr Boles would be welcome. There is too much government interfering.”‘

Sources: The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Sun, Evening Standard