Boris Johnson’s father Stanley joins attack on drive to ease planning rules as he warns it could undermine nature protection programmes
- Boris Johnson’s father raised fears over the potential damage to the environment
- Stanley Johnson said the reforms may ruin ‘our nature protection programmes’
- Reforms give automatic permission for news homes in areas marked for growth
Boris Johnson‘s father yesterday joined the backlash against his son’s planning reforms.
The Prime Minister is already facing a revolt from within his party over the ‘electorally toxic’ moves that would step up house-building and make it harder for locals to object to new homes.
And even his own father raised concerns about the damage the plans could cause to the environment.
‘I think we have to be tremendously careful before we push through planning reforms, which themselves may serve to undermine the very basis of our nature protection programmes,’ Stanley Johnson told Times Radio.
Boris Johnson’s father Stanley yesterday joined the backlash against his son’s planning reforms, arguing they could cause damage to the environment
‘And I’m not convinced that telling the Horsham District Council, “Yes, you’ve got to build 1,000 houses” or whatever it is, giving them no room to manoeuvre, is the way forward.’
His son has vowed that 300,000 homes will be built a year. The reforms would give automatic permission for homes in new zones earmarked for growth.
The proposed reforms were even blamed for contributing to the Tories’ shock defeat in last week’s Chesham and Amersham by-election to the Liberal Democrats.
However there was only muted criticism from Tories in a Commons debate on the topic held by Labour yesterday.
Former Planning Minister Sir Bob Neill said people must be able to have a say on new developments in their communities.
‘I have a word of caution to the minister about how we approach that in terms of the role of the individual objector and the role of the local authority in the planning process.
‘It’s a democratic issue and we have to make sure that we are efficient, but not at the expense of local democracy.’
The proposed reforms were even blamed for contributing to the Tories’ shock defeat in last week’s Chesham and Amersham by-election to the Liberal Democrats
Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, who at the weekend called the reforms a ‘developers’ charter’ that will be ‘electorally toxic’, said: ‘Stripping away democracy, at whatever level, should be avoided by a Conservative government.’ Cornish Tories said planning rules should be tougher for second home owners.
Steve Double said: ‘It’s time for the Government to seriously look at requiring planning permission to have a home that is not your primary residence.’
Derek Thomas agreed: ‘We don’t want to interfere in the market, but it is right now that we have some sort of planning condition for properties that are not going to be a primary residence.’
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher accused Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary Steve Reed of acting like a ‘latter-day witchfinder general’ and likened him to conspiracy theorist David Icke for highlighting links between the Conservatives and major developers.
‘How long will it be before he runs off and jumps into his turquoise tracksuit and starts telling everybody the world is run by lizards and he is the godhead?’ he asked.
In his closing speech, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick mocked Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey’s recent claim to be a YIMBY – someone who says Yes In My Back Yard to new developments.
‘It is better to describe him and his party as a BANANA: building absolutely nothing anywhere near anything,’ said Mr Jenrick
The Prime Minister has vowed that 300,000 homes will be built a year. The reforms would give automatic permission for homes in new zones earmarked for growth (stock image)