New Government should ‘move quickly’ to scrap Regional Spatial Strategies

The Conservative administration in Bath and North East Somerset has said that it hopes the new government moves quickly on delivering its promise to scrap the Labour Government’s massive house-building targets to allow the Council to agree upon a more sustainable local figure.

Cllr Francine Haeberling, B&NES Conservative Leader, said:

“Handing more powers back to local councils is an area of clear broad agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, and scrapping the Whitehall-driven house-building targets was something both parties promised to do in their manifestos. We hope that the new Government moves quickly to abandon these targets.

“In Bath and North East Somerset, we have always rejected the huge figure of 21,300 new homes which the Labour Government wanted to impose on our area. But we have also said that even the lower original figure of 15,500 is very challenging and that if the Regional Spatial Strategy were to be scrapped we would re-look at the figures for B&NES. Given the fact we have been through a recession since these figures were first proposed in 2006, there is likely to be a strong case for reducing the number for B&NES below the 15,500 figure.”

The Conservative administration on B&NES Council has said that the final numbers and locations for new house-buildings in B&NES will be informed by the consultation recently undertaken on the area’s Core Strategy, which was based on the 15,500 house-building figure contained within the original RSS. Further information on the administration’s proposals will be confirmed in the coming weeks