Sir George Young, MP for North West Hants, and a former Minister of Housing and Planning, has expressed opposition to the Government’s house-building targets for the county.
“I start from the premise that everyone is entitled to a decent home, and I know there is substantial unmet need in the county. We need more homes, and both Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke and Deane Council and Test Valley Borough Council recognise that, and are prepared to make provision to meet it. A new Major Development Area is being built to the east of Andover, and sites have been identified in many of the villages in my constituency for new development."
"But the new target, centrally imposed by the Government through the South East Plan, goes beyond that locally identified need, and risks alienating people from the planning process. I have always favoured a bottom-up approach, which means that local people feel ownership of the local plan. And it is a travesty to say that people in the villages in my constituency are opposed to new development. They are not; but they want the targets to be realistic, and to recognise the risks of over-development.”
“What we need at the moment is not more plans for the medium term; we need to get on with building the houses for which consent has already been given, and with making sure that the infrastructure is there to sustain them.”
"I understand the anxiety caused by the studies required by the current planning system, and the SHLAAA's that go with it (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment's). I hope it won't be too long before we can more to a new and better system of planning, which gives greater weight to the views of local communities."