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wokingham borough council urges residents to ‘speak now or forever hold your peace’            

Wokingham Borough Council is halfway through its campaign urging residents to respond to the Government’s proposal that would see the number of houses built each year in Wokingham Borough more than double.

The Government’s proposal would see over 1600 new homes a year imposed on Wokingham Borough. This is more than double the current figure.

Leader of the council John Halsall said: “What the government is proposing is absolutely outrageous – we have been playing according to the rules for years, building thousands of new homes in Wokingham Borough. We’ve had 10,000 new homes in the borough in the last 10 years and now the government want us to more than double that – they want us to build 25,000 new homes in the next 15 years. That would be like building two new towns the size of Wokingham every 15 years!

“We need our residents to act now to tell the government what they think of this proposal. What the government have done is create an algorithm for the housing target for each local authority area, a bit like the algorithm for A level and GCSE exam results, and just like with the exam results, the algorithm punishes some and benefits others.”

Cllr Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement said: “The housing target for Wokingham Borough is just too high – we simply can’t take that much housing that quickly. I have been making as much noise about this as possible and have succeeded in speaking directly to the secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick about the disastrous impact this would have on Wokingham. To get him to really listen to us, we need our residents to contact their MP and Robert Jenrick himself, before 1 October when the consultation ends.”

The government is proposing a radical shake-up of the planning system in England, believing the country should build, build, build in order to stimulate the economy following the effects of the pandemic. The government committed to building 300,000 new homes a year across England by the mid-2020s. After falling significantly short of this over recent years, a new formula is proposed to calculate housing numbers across England to make up this shortfall.

To respond to the consultation:

 Contact your local MP

Email your MP and copy us in at fairplayinhousing@wokingham.gov.uk

  1. Theresa May MP – theresa.may.mp@parliament.uk
  2. John Redwood MP – john.redwood.mp@parliament.uk
  3. Matt Rodda MP – matt.rodda.mp@parliament.uk
  4. James Sunderland MP – james.sunderland.mp@parliament.uk

 Contact the Secretary of State

Contact the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick using the online form and let us know by emailing fairplayinhousing@wokingham.gov.uk

 Respond to the Government consultation online

Take part in the government consultation online.

 For more information visit the council’s website at www.wokingham.gov.uk/fairplayinhousing

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