Update from Laura Farris MP - Dec 2021
As you are aware, I held a public meeting in Bucklebury in August 2021. As discussed at the time, a pause has been placed on future local plans following the Government announcement that was made shortly before the meeting, which gives us more time.
Since the meeting, I have had a number of discussions with Councillors regarding the matters discussed and sent the attached letter to Lynne Doherty (the Leader of West Berkshire Council). Perhaps most importantly, I have made an appointment to meet Michael Gove, the new Housing Secretary, in the early new year.
You may also be aware that the Government has given further indications that it does not wish to see overdevelopment in the South East or on greenfield land. Indeed, the Prime Minister addressed this point in his speech to the Party Conference in October. I am aware of other local authorities who have suspended local planning until more clarity has been given by the Department. I hope to persuade Michael that an area like West Berkshire, dominated by AONB, flood plain and the special considerations relevant to Aldermaston, cannot sustain the current housing designations and see whether I can achieve change from the top.
I will of course keep you updated with my progress once I have spoken to him.
Laura Farris MP
Member of Parliament for Newbury