At loggerheads with the conservation bodies such as the National Trust, planning minister Greg Clark has said the government would not back down on controversial plans to make it easier to build houses. Doubtless Clark is hoping everyone has forgotten about his 2006 private members’ bill — which, erm, tried to make it harder to build houses.
Introducing his Ten Minute Rule Bill as an opposition backbencher, Clark told the Commons:
“In a short time, the character of some of our most prized areas is being completely destroyed, although we never would have considered that possible.”
Prominent supporters of the legislation, which sought to restrict building developments on tracts of private land, included the likes of Michael Gove. It is not without some irony, then, that Clark now finds himself defending legislation without which he claims we would:
“… continue the position we are in where we are not building enough homes for the people needing them for the first time.”
Presumably terrified of another Caroline Spelman-style forest sale meltdown, Clark has said he will hold talks with opponents of planning reform.
Perhaps they should along a copy of Clark’s “Protection of Private Gardens (Housing Development) Bill” to jog his memory.