APRIL NEWS FROM NUS GHANI, MP FOR WEALDEN

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When and where new homes are built is always a controversial subject. I receive a lot of correspondence on planning in Wealden, and I recognise the level of frustration at the current housing targets for Wealden.

I fully acknowledge that we do need more homes, and a level of development in Wealden is inevitable. I see the need for affordable homes pop up daily in my casework. However, I am concerned about the unachievably high numbers for Wealden and about the data behind the current methods used for the housing need calculations.

Having lobbied the Department of Housing since 2015, I have had meetings with many Housing Ministers over the years and a huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes to address the current situation. I continue working with Wealden District Council and the Department of Housing and last month I led a parliamentary debate to raise the matter with the Minister.

I stressed that the current numbers for Wealden are absurdly high, they are based on outdated population projections, ignore the environmental constraints on the area and are not accompanied by any meaningful delivery of infrastructure such as road and rail upgrades, nor adequate provision of health and dental care, sewage and broadband.

It is unfair that Wealden has to shoulder local needs elsewhere in East Sussex because neighbouring authorities are not delivering their fair share. I urged the Minister to review why, considering that Wealden Council builds more homes than its neighbouring councils, we are not being prioritised for any Government funding to support the delivery of adequate infrastructure.

I am pleased that the Minister has committed to continuing working with me and Wealden Council and confirmed that calls for making housing targets advisory, not mandatory were being “heard loud and clear” by the Department.

Please remember that social media posts and emails to your MP do not count as objections in a formal Council consultation and that I have no jurisdiction over individual planning applications or what local Councillors approve or dismiss on local planning.

But please be assured that I am supporting Wealden District Council where I can, to address the unfair housing numbers currently imposed on Wealden by the Government and I will continue to support the Council on this matter and in producing a local plan.

I continue to work hard to ensure that your concerns are heard in Westminster. If you are a Wealden resident and require my assistance, please email nusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.uk

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