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Royal Borough leader responds to new government housing policy

James Harrison

There is no desire to ‘scythe through the greenbelt’ but tough decisions need to be taken on housing policy, the Royal Borough leader has said.

Reacting to the Government’s white paper on the subject, released on Tuesday, Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Bray), also raised the prospect of dropping some of the more controversial sites earmarked for development from the Borough Local Plan.

But he added that reforms set out in the white paper made it even more important the council steps up to meet its building requirements – lest it be hit by the ‘hammer of central government’, which could end up wresting away control.

“We’ve no desire to scythe through the greenbelt but there has got to be more homes and we owe it to the 30 per cent of our residents who are just about managing to do that,” he said.

The document claims at least 250,000 new homes need to be built every year and Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has raised the prospect of local authorities being compelled to comply with that target if they do not do so willingly.

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