Labour Councillors in Westminster have unveiled their Planning Manifesto for the May Council Elections.
Labour say that the Conservatives are killing Westminster’s communities. Huge number of luxury apartments have been given planning permission but where very few people live. The Conservatives have encouraged the creation of developments where there is no life, no economic benefit, no community benefit.
Labour will reverse this decline
• We will revise the Council’s Planning policies to outlaw the construction of ‘mega-basement’ excavations which ruin the lives of neighbouring residents for years on end
• We will strengthen planning policies to protect local pubs that provide a genuine community role from conversion to luxury housing
• We will require developers to pay section 106 planning gain contributions towards healthcare and education where appropriate.
• We will require ‘overage’ payments on any off-site affordable housing contributions, so that rising house prices lead to increased funding for affordable housing.
• We will mount a Compulsory Purchase Order on the enormous site on Edgware Road which the Conservatives have scandalously left underused for over 20 years.
• We will tighten the affordable housing guidelines in new building applications. Viability arguments made by developers will only be accepted if they will be made public.
• We will allow members of the public and applicants to speak at Planning Committee meetings.
Councillor Barbara Grahame, Labour Planning Spokesperson, said;
“It is time for Westminster residents to claim back their city. The Conservatives have let Westminster become a ‘playground for the rich’, where there is no place for people on low or middle incomes. They have encouraged developments with no on-site affordable housing and at the same they have been letting developers off paying the full amount for off-site housing. Hundreds of millions of pounds have been lost to the public.”
“Again and again, Westminster Conservatives have given the green light for more luxury flats and have banished affordable homes elsewhere, often outside Westminster all together. Building on-site affordable housing is the only way in which Westminster can have lively, thriving communities. Building yet more luxury apartments with no homes for people on low or middle incomes will slowly, but surely, kill off Westminster’s communities right across the city .”
A copy of the full Manifesto is attached 2014 Council Election Manifesto