MP’s housing concern

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A MINISTER has been challenged by Sheffield MP Clive Betts over changes to planning rules which allow developers to reject brownfield sites – forcing councils to increase the number of greenfield sites earmarked for building.

In Sheffield, 1,000 homes are proposed for green and open spaces by the council over the coming years.

Mr Betts, Sheffield South East Labour MP, whose constituency includes hundreds of the proposed properties, said: “Councils are legally required to identify sites that are ‘deliverable and viable’ to meet the Government’s housing targets.

“However, developers are sitting on brownfield sites and asserting they are ‘not viable’, forcing councils to identify additional greenfield sites for housing development.”

Nick Boles, the planning minister who was quizzed about the subject by Mr Betts in the House of Commons, replied: “There is no point putting into a plan sites that have no chance of being developed. A balance needs to be struck on whether they are viable.”