Wokingham Borough council has stated to central government that too many houses have been assigned in the new Local Plan update.

In a letter to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, John Halsall, the leader of Wokingham Borough council says Government policies ignore common sense and invite damaging speculation.

He explains in a recent video that he wants the policy to recognise the “big picture” of housing supply, allowing the council’s successes at providing more than required in the short term to be offset by lower numbers in future.

The government target is to build 300,000 new houses annually by the middle of the decade however the government has been resetting the bar each year for housing numbers. This means the number of homes required is constantly increasing, as it is in Wokingham borough’s case.

READ ALSO: Residents log objections to Wokingham Local Plan update

In the past five years alone, the borough has already seen 6,500 new homes completed. This is nearly doubling the current quota.

Wokingham is considered to be one of the most desirable boroughs in Berkshire, with good quality of life making it a prime location for development opportunities.

John Halsall’s vision for fighting inappropriate development has been laid out to Michel Gove and is calling for several improvements to the local plan.

He told Michael Gove: “Some aspects of national planning policy undermine residents’ confidence in the planning system, the council, and both local and national politicians.

 “This should not be allowed to continue. Residents overwhelmingly feel that our housing delivery has been sufficient, which it has, but should decelerate and pause.

“The planning system must work for everyone. It must be one of common sense and must be trusted by communities to be fair and consistent.”

The council maintains that the current requirement is too high but believes it can make the best of the situation and continue building balanced, well-equipped communities.

John Halsall said: “We don’t agree with the amount of housing that’s currently imposed, and regret losing every square inch of green land to development but failing to find these sites could leave us with no plan at all.

“Without a valid Local Plan, the Government could step in and take our planning powers over, meaning far more applications are likely to be approved and in far more locations. We could end up with the nightmare scenario of the wrong homes, in the wrong places, and without suitable infrastructure.

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The council is now updating its Local Plan, which decides where housing and other types of development will go until 2038. It is required to prepare for 768 new homes a year or the document won’t be valid, laying almost every part of the borough open to speculative development.