Developers Winning Against Residents Says Councillor

Councillor Andrew Steed claims planning system increasingly biased

Gary Malcolm and Andrew Steed campaign against another tower block planGary Malcolm and Andrew Steed campaign against another tower block plan

I have written about planning issues before and how the current system is increasingly biased against residents. In many ways you would have thought a Conservative Government would be in favour of local authorities making decisions locally: that they would be against huge new developments that have the potential to change the character of an area.

Historically the Conservative party has been against top-down planning rules and against targets for new builds.

However over recent years there has been a chipping away of the ability of local authorities to oppose developments, with decisions ultimately made on a regional basis or with appeals to the Secretary of State.

New proposals which are expected to be presented in a Bill this autumn change the fundamentals of UK planning law, with the introduction of 'zoning'. Land will be designated as zoned for growth, renewal, or protection. If you live in a growth zone, your right to object to individual developments disappears.

It is no wonder that ex-Prime Minister Teresa May has referred to the plans as ‘a developers charter'. The Homebuilding & Renovating magazine agrees, saying the bill 'makes it more difficult for Councils and homeowners to block new housing schemes'.

Conservatives defend the proposals by criticising local authorities, despite nine out of ten planning applications being approved. Conservatives talk about wishing to solve a housing crisis, which is particularly acute in London. But will these proposals help? I would argue that they do nothing to help the housing crisis.

Liberal Democrats say what is needed is targeted investment in social housing, no more grubby deals where developers build a minimum of 'genuinely affordable housing' that is nothing of the sort.

Cllr Andrew Steed – Liberal Democrat Councillor on Ealing Council


Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


June 13, 2021