James Sunderland intervenes in a backbench debate on planning and house building to call for well run local councils to decide on local new housing requirements and not have national targets imposed on them.
Does my right hon. Friend and constituency neighbour in Berkshire agree that councils such as Wokingham Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council should be given some credit for delivering against mature local plans, and that very well run councils like them are best placed to understand the local requirement, instead of having national targets imposed on them?
I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend on those points. What seems to be happening is that if councils have delivered in the past—and they deserve to be congratulated on that—they are being forced to deliver even more in the future. Yet, by definition, if you have delivered in the past, you have less land on which to deliver in the future. It just does not seem to make sense, particularly when those who have not delivered are being rewarded by lower target numbers. That is the opinion of parish councils and town councils across the Wokingham area, including those in my constituency—Charvil, Remenham, Ruscombe, St Nicholas Hurst, Sonning, Twyford, Wargrave, and Woodley town council, part of which covers my constituency. They have urged the Government to think again, and to ensure that a realistic and manageable plan is put in place, that is achievable and does not create more problems than it solves.