A Labour Grassroots survey has found that 70% of Labour activists oppose building on Green Belt land to meet housing need.
Our poll also reveals that 35% of Labour members are active in local campaigns against unpopular housing schemes and over 50% were familiar with Robert Jenrick’s White Paper that will take away even more power from local residents who wish to complain against developments.
On closer inspection, the case against most developments is based on sound, reasonable arguments and not mere NIMBYism.
Replies to the survey revealed that current or recent developments have included:
- Building on the site of an old gasworks despite constant complaints of a toxic odour coming from the land.
- Demolishing 750 council homes to build luxury flats with very little social housing.
- Building the largest housing development on an area of natural beauty that has ever been approved and not including any social housing or ‘affordable’ housing for local residents.
- Proposing to construct three 22-stories blocks of flats with no provision for social housing – in one of London’s most deprived areas.
- Proposing to build on top of tennis courts that are in regular use.
- Housing construction on a flood plain.
- Knocking down a vibrant community market to build housing with little or no social housing or ‘affordable’ homes.
- Building on land allocated to the local community for ‘health and recreation’.
- Building on greenbelt when brownfield sites nearby have been land banked for years.
The Conservative government is facing local resistance to growth plans all over the country.
With Labour activists playing a prominent role in many of these campaigns, it would seem that Labour can’t lose if it speaks out against these developments – especially when there are no spaces for social housing.
The only problem with this is that several of these developments have been approved by Labour councils and so it makes a national campaign against such schemes very difficult.
On tomorrow’s discussion (Wednesday 2nd September, 7:30pm-9pm), we will hear from Labour activists who took part in the survey and will hear their frustration with the national or local party’s lack of support on campaigns against developers.
We will also hear how they think we can stop Robert Jenrick’s plans.
To watch the show, register below: