Response to Michael Gove’s planning and housing initiative on Cambridge

25 Jul 2023

In response to Michael Gove’s planning and housing initiative on Cambridge, Cllr Tim Bick Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Cambridge City Council said:

"If the government’s announcement is to assist with some of the investment and policy obstacles that currently stand in the way of the new local plan that we are working on, it will be welcome. As ought to be clear from the track record, the councils in this area are constructive about the need for properly justified and planned growth.

“It is vital that new development is sustainable. We need urgent investment in water supplies, which is beyond local control. We need to set eco-design standards currently unachievable under national planning policy. And we need to extract more value from developers for infrastructure and affordable housing. We are proud of Cambridge's contribution to the national economy and the good it does in the world, but we don’t see nearly enough back from it locally.

"We have been asking for Government’s help, so - if this it - why would we chase it away when offered? Apparently the unmoored Anthony Browne MP would, who cries ‘nonsense' before he even knows anything.

"But if the government is aiming to hi-jack the Cambridge vision which already exists to its own political ends, to ignore carefully collected evidence, or to override local democratic decision making - it will find much less of a welcome. It has muddied the waters with its talk in advance of a ridiculously unfeasible 250,000 more homes, unjustified by data. It would do better now to support local leaders rather than trying to corral."

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