Across southern England, councils face a dilemma when it comes to planning for new housing.

The government tells councils how many new homes they must plan to accommodate and award planning permission.

The planning process is deeply divisive. On the one hand, many existing residents – understandably – are resistant to large-scale development.

They fear that it will erode the countryside, and add to congestion on the roads and pressure on services. On the other hand many local people struggle to afford anywhere to live in their own area.

Housing developers argue that building more homes drives down prices. But in Wokingham borough, prices have risen steadily during decades of large-scale development. New market housing draws in more people from outside the area, especially from London.

If the market cannot provide the solution, we must increase the supply of non-market accommodation. That could be government-subsidised discounted market housing, shared ownership schemes, or council and housing association housing.

In Wokingham, we are seeking to maximise the proportion of affordable housing we secure through the planning system.

We require developers of extensive market housing schemes to provide on average 35 per cent of the new homes as affordable housing. We are hoping to increase that percentage in our plan for housing supply over the next 15 years.

We will have to convince a government-appointed inspector that an increase is viable.

But we will do all we can to do this. We owe it to our young people, and to those who are not paid well, to make sure that they can live in a decent home in their own community.