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Labour calls on councils to unite and defeat the Tory government’s ‘developers’ charter’

LABOUR has called on councils to unite and defeat the Tory government’s “developers’ charter.”

In a speech to the Local Government Association conference today, shadow communities secretary Steve Reed urged local authorities to pass formal motions signalling their opposition to plans to weaken planning rules.

The reforms — which would prevent residents from objecting to developers’ plans to build in their communities — have come into sharp focus after the Tories shock defeat by the Lib Dems in the Chesham & Amersham by-election last month.

Tory MPs reacted with alarm after voters in the Buckinghamshire constituency cited the proposals as a threat to the surrounding Chilterns countryside. 

A non-binding Labour motion calling on ministers to scrap the reforms was passed in the Commons by 231 votes in June after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Tory MPs to abstain.

At today’s event, Mr Reed launched Labour’s campaign to protect communities’ ability to shape local development while increasing the pace of home construction across the country.

The Croydon North MP challenged the government to back Labour’s “use it or lose it” planning permission Bill when it is introduced to MPs next week. 

The legislation would reduce the length of time permission is applied, to stop developers “land-banking” instead of building. 

“The Conservatives’ plans are a stark example of their impulse to deprive communities of power rather than empower them,” Mr Reed said. “We know our concerns are shared by councillors of all political parties, so we’re asking councils to make their voices heard.

“If we work together, we can protect the rights of residents to have a say over their own streets and green spaces. All residents are asking for is a voice, not a veto.”

Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMatt

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