Housing minister Robert Jenrick has agreed to visit Wokingham and discuss plans for a highly controversial planning reform that could result in 1,600 homes being built in the borough every year.

That’s according to councillor John Halsall, leader of Wokingham Borough Council, who is battling the proposed reform.

He said: “I had a very long telephone conversation with him (Robert Jenrick), which was reassuring, particularly after the antics.

“The offer to walk down to Whitehall naked was meant to get the minister’s attention and clearly it did.”

He said the housing minister has "accepted an invitation" to Wokingham, but no date for a visit has been set yet.

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The government is running a consultation on a white paper, which contains long-term plans to overhaul the planning process and make it easier for developers to gain planning permission in certain areas of the country.

But Cllr Halsall says that is a “smokescreen” for another consultation (ends October 1) on plans to make short-term changes to the current planning system, to ensure 300,000 homes can be built in England each year.

It includes plans for a new formula that determines how many homes should be built in each area of the country.

Wokingham Borough Council says this will result in around 1,600 homes being built in Wokingham each year – that’s double the current target.

There are also plans to allow developers to build up to 40 or 50 homes without providing affordable housing and extend Permission in Principle, so house builders have a “faster way of obtaining planning permission”.

Cllr Halsall said: “I’ve been working to make councils and MPs aware that there are two consultations that exist and make them aware of the clear and present danger of the one on making changes to the planning guidance.”

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The Conservative councillor says this reform will impose massive house building targets on councils, mainly in the South East, instead of providing more much-needed homes in deprived areas of the country.

He also claims it will force councils to approve more planning applications so they can meet these inflated targets, without putting any pressure on developers to deliver what they have planned.

Cllr Halsall has been campaigning against the proposed changes and lobbying the government.

He said: “I think Robert Jenrick coming to visit us is a really nice gesture if he gets round to doing it, but more importantly, lines are now open so we can have dialogue.”

He added: “In our view, there’s nothing wrong with the current planning system. There’s always things you can do to improve it, but fundamentally there’s not an issue.”