THE Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) says that 30,000 homes have been built on greenfield sites due to the Government’s new planning rules (the National Planning Policy Framework).

The new rules include a presumption in favour of “sustainable” development, but as there is no clear definition of “sustainable” and the rules allow developers to decide the sites and style of housing that makes them the most money.

If local authorities object, then the developers appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

The CPRE have found that seven per cent of appeals are allowed.

In Cheshire East the percentage of successful appeals on major housing applications on greenfield sites is even higher than that.

Conservatives and Labour agree that as a nation we need more houses.

The difference is in how to meet that need.

Conservative policy is to encourage private industry to build more houses and to allow developers a great deal of flexibility in choosing the sites.

The sites the developers choose are those which make the most money for private developers.

Labour would give more power to councils and allow them the financial freedom to borrow to build houses themselves.

The Labour policy would not reduce the number of houses being built, but it would change the locations chosen.

It would also change the style of houses being built and it would enable the council to plan and fund the infrastructure necessary to support the new houses; schools, road improvements etc. We need more bungalows for the elderly and starter homes for young families but we need them to be built in a planned and controlled way.

The free market is not the best way to decide where to build houses.

Sam Corcoran Labour councillor for Sandbach Heath