LETTER: Problem is Govt’s top down policies

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The Conservative Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning since September 2012, Nicholas Boles MP, and a close friend and ally of David Cameron who regularly pontificates on Tory ideas.

Like elderly people are to blame for the national housing shortage, that national parks and rural communities are museum pieces that are not so much protected as embalmed and so should be available for planning applications and that the Tories should back the Liberal Democrats calls for a land tax is now quoted in the Sunday Times blaming local councils for slow house building rates.

Like the majority of our current crop of elitist politicians who have no idea what life is like for normal working people, our Minister for Planning neglects the fact that the underlying ratio between house prices and disposable income always returns to, around, 4:1 in the long term.

While our local councils can be browbeaten into identifying preferred sites for development, they cannot raise disposable income, only real economic growth will do that.

There are more than 100,000 houses, with planning approval, still waiting for developers to decide the economic environment is good enough to actually build them, while the Government’s answer is to threaten developers with loss of planning approval unless houses are built.

Like the rest of this out of touch Government, Nick Boles should accept the problem is not with the local councils, whose planning committees are regularly overridden by regional planning inspectors, it is with the Government’s top down, centralised, policies.

It is time for our politicians to be more honest, admit their mistakes and stop pointing the finger of blame at elderly people, rural communities, local councils and anyone else who doesn’t immediately doff their hats to their very important bureaucracy.

PETER GRACE

Chanctonbury, Ashington