Council leader speaks out on Labour housing crisis

The leader of Northumberland County Council, Peter Jackson has spoken out about the housing crisis left to his party by the previous administration. Procrastination and lack of leadership over the previous four years left Northumberland without a key planning document that put communities and important landscapes at serious risk of development. Labour had planned to allow an additional 26,000 houses in the county, a plan which ended with the change of administration in May. The government has asked the council to explain why it has not yet submitted the ´Core Strategy´document.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid today announced that his department will no longer accept the failure of some local authorities to produce local plans 13 years after they were asked to do. Today he named 15 authorities including Northumberland County Council who will receive letters from him shortly asking them to justify why they are so late and set out what they are doing to remedy this. Any authorities not satisfying the reasonable demands of Government will face formal intervention.

In July the new Conservative administration in Northumberland delivered on one of their key manifesto promises and withdrew the Core Strategy submitted by the previous Labour administration after many years of continued delay. Conservative Leader Peter Jackson comments:

“The Labour plans to concrete over Northumberland were deeply unpopular with residents in our county. We are determined to protect hundreds of acres of valued Greenbelt which was under serious threat and the inherent beauty of our county.

Labour’s Core Strategy would have failed Public Examination and we would have been back at square one along with Durham. Council officers are working hard to get a Local Plan out for public consultation and the housing numbers will actually be based on our needs.

Labour have got us into this mess and we are working hard with Government to get us out of it. We will accelerate this process and give our residents certainty by consulting from February on a Full Local Plan”.