The communities on the periphery of Sheffield could soon face an unprecedented attack on their character and identity.
I refer to the disturbing news that our green belt looks set to be carved up and concreted over for the creation of thousands more homes.
Yet the recent articles in the local press appear to have misrepresented where the pressure for more homes is coming from and have instead adopted the Labour line on this issue.
In spite of what these articles said, it is not government housing targets which are putting pressure on the council, because there’s no such thing. As part of the Government’s planning and localism reforms, top down housing targets and the Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) they were part of, have been scrapped.
The onus is now entirely on local authorities to assess and provide for their own needs. Sure enough, these assessments of need are scrutinised, but by the completely autonomous Planning Inspectors. It really is nothing to do with central government and it’s shameful that the council is trying to make out as though it is.
But, it’s hardly surprising. Other Labour-controlled authorities across in the region, like York, are pursuing exactly the same tactics. All the while they’re blaming central government for choices they themselves are making.
I fear the reality is that the Labour Party have little time for green belts.
Conservative Candidate for Dore and Totley Ward