Local MP and Minister of State for Housing and Planning Chairs Charity Debate
Local Charity CPRE Hampshire were delighted to welcome MP for North West Hampshire and Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Kit Malthouse to a morning discussion panel debating some of the main housing and planning issues facing our Hampshire countryside and communities.
The charity organised the event, held in Mr Malthouse’s constituency to address some of the most important issues facing housing and planning within Hampshire including housing numbers, affordable homes, impact to the countryside and environment and the current Planning System. This included a focus on the new government housing proposal of ‘More, Better, Faster’ and what implications this may have for our Hampshire countryside and county as a whole.
The event, held at St Mary Bourne Village Centre, St Mary Bourne, on Friday 8th February drew a large crowd of over 100 local people and CPRE Hampshire members eager to join in the discussion.
CPRE Hampshire Chair Dee Haas was delighted with the response ‘This was a really fantastic opportunity for local people to have their say and debate some of the issues around housing and planning in Hampshire with a government minister and local representative.
I’m always amazed by the breadth of knowledge held by our members and the level of interest and passion local communities have about these issues. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Minister to run through current government policy and to debate some of these ideas and influencing factors with the Hampshire community, as well as our expert speakers.’
Topics raised on the morning event included sustainability, housing numbers, affordability and neighbourhood plans, as well as the impact to our wildlife and net environmental gain through planning from Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Mr Malthouse Chaired the debate and responded to audience questions and comments. ‘Well over a hundred people came along, and seeing my own constituents engage so passionately with More, Better, Faster was a joy for me as Housing Minster. Hearing the thoughts of passionate citizens certainly gave me ideas that I will strongly consider in future policy.”
The Minister provided clear views on the current planning system and agreed we needed to adopt a more joined up approach to Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans. This could include a more forward thinking system, planning for fifteen years into the future rather than fivr and the need for greater strategic planning with a focus on sustainable public transport and infrastructure. He also emphasised the need for developers to think more in terms of building communities, rather than just houses.
Dee Haas thanked everyone involved. ‘It was a wonderful debate and we are most grateful to the Minister and all of our speakers for joining us and making this such a comprehensive and informative discussion.’
For more information on the speakers and presentation then please visit our website at www.cprehampshire.org.uk