My column in the Morley Observer & Advertiser

One of the biggest issues in my postbag is the shortage of affordable housing. Families contact me desperate for a place to live. But there are not enough homes and the ones planned here and elsewhere in Leeds are not homes they could afford.
 
Across the City all the main political parties agree on the need for new homes to meet the demand from local families. We agree these need to be affordable homes, that valuable Green Belt land should be protected and when development takes place, it must have proper infrastructure alongside.
 
Yet the Director of Development, local businesses, planning officers and Councillors tell me that it is national planning policy changes that is causing problems locally. The Government has watered down the previous ‘brownfield first’ presumption. And the combination of the current state of the housing market and the Government’s policy changes means pressures on areas like Morley have increased markedly.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Local people are telling me is that they want to see affordable housing on brownfield sites, the infrastructure needed to support it and our valuable Green Belt land protected. So when there are a great many sites, right across Leeds, already with planning permission granted, that haven’t been developed, surely these should be developed first?

That is why I am pressing the Secretary of State to acknowledge the unfair impact planning policy is having, make the necessary changes to planning law and guidance and support my call for new investment in affordable homes.

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Posted October 16th, 2013 by Ed