For those who value our environment, and those who care about the future, there is a distinct lack of choice on offer from the London parties. The Tories and their glove puppet want to turn the planning system into a developers’ charter, telling us that localism doesn’t, after all, do what it says on the tin. With characteristic cynicism, they tell us instead that: “Only through empowering communities will we succeed in gaining their buy-in for development.” The intention is to maintain “a strong set of national policy principles to provide direction to local councils to ensure that sustainable development decisions are made.” Tory (and glove puppet) nanny knows best, just like Labour nanny did. And still does?
Surely not? There must be an opening here for Labour to confess and repent? Not according to Jack Dromey, Labour’s shadow communities minister (that’s ‘shadow minister for communities’, not ‘minister for shadow communities’, before you start to get spooked). The man told a fringe meeting at the party conference that Labour would reintroduce regional ‘imperatives’, including top-down housebuilding targets. Moron. We already have two to three times the number of homes that a sustainable population requires. And nowhere near the amount of farmland needed to support the one we actually have. He’ll start telling us next that we need ‘growth’ in order to save the planet.