Catherine has warned that the Government’s planning reforms risk creating a ‘perfect storm’ of accelerated housing development, with less accountability and community input into the planning process.

During a Parliamentary debate on the Government’s controversial planning overhaul, Catherine said the Government’s new planning proposals are essentially a developers charter that fail to consider “important non-housing issues like local shops, employment, transport links, leisure and climate change”. She said these are all key issues that should form part of any planning system and warned that new housing developments in Newcastle’s Outer West must not see a repeat of the long-term failure to deliver on infrastructure that has been so problematic in Newcastle Great Park.

Following her speech, Catherine commented:

Residents already feel that their views aren’t respected in the planning system, but they will be shocked that the Government’s proposed solution is to further restrict their input, tipping the balance of power even more towards developers, while imposing an arbitrary, centrally-imposed target for increased housebuilding in Newcastle and other major cities”.

“This is the opposite of what we need. We need a planning system that has communities, both existing and new, at its heart. Communities are so much more than just collection of houses, and we must have a planning system that creates sustainable communities by delivering good quality infrastructure at the earliest possible stage of development.”