our voice

Standing up for Canterbury, Whitstable and the villages

5. PROTECT OUR GREEN SPACES

As a member of the All-Party Groups on Net Zero, Conservation, Deforestation, and others, alongside my role on the EFRA Select Committee, I’ve campaigned on improving our air quality and protecting our precious natural environment and ecosystems.
 
We need the right homes built in the right place – and that starts with accurate data so that we can properly understand housing need. I’ll work with our council and the government to deliver homes for local people while safeguarding our green spaces.
 
Investment in public transport needs to be at the heart of our plans to tackle climate change. That’s why Labour’s plans to bring rail back into public ownership and empower local authorities to take control of bus networks are so important, helping to reduce car dependency and bringing down transport emissions.
Long before she became an MP, Rosie was an active support of community-led campaigns to protect our green spaces. And she has been a powerful advocate of protecting the natural world since then. I very much welcome and support her commitment to putting nature and the environment centre-stage.
Sian Pettman
Environmentalist

OUR PLEDGE

Green spaces are one of our areas greatest assets. A new Labour government would:

Reform our planning system

Build 1.5m extra houses which will directly benefit local people. 

Develop in a way which protects natural green spaces. This means brownfield first, grey belt second. Poor quality areas should always be prioritised over nature-rich environmentally valuable land.

Introduce a New Towns Act and build 50% affordable housing on these sites. These new towns would also help 'level up' certain regions and challenge the national targets encourage high levels of population growth to continue on this trajectory.

Read more

Launch a countryside protection plan

Plant three new national forests. Create nine new National River Walks and plant millions of trees.

Establish taskforces for tree planting and flood resilience

Ban bee-killing pesticides

Set national targets on biodiversity on new housing sites

Support our farmers by ensuring 50% of food purchased by public services are locally produced or environmentally certified.

Enourage community ownership

Give local communities more time and support to take over derelict buildings and degraded land under a community right to buy.

Support councils to use powers to turn degraded land into parkland

Read more

THE LOCAL PLAN

Canterbury City Council have recently closed the consultation on their local plan which seeks to identify where the extra homes will be built for future generations.
 
The plan is a huge improvement on the previous one suggested by the Conservative administration that wanted to run bypasses through fields and build over 4000 homes more than that which Labour and their coalition partners are now proposing. The new plan has substantially strengthened environmental protections.
 
However, the consultation sacrifices green space loved by local residents – because the planning system is broken and desperately in need of reform. The ‘top down’ and outdated figures imposed by Government, place a huge strain on local councils and are unfairly forced on the South East which already has far fewer green open spaces than other areas of the UK.
 
Our local authorities are being forced by central government to deliver house building on a massive scale without any help from central government to encourage development in other areas which have more brownfield sites, fewer areas of outstanding natural beauty and less rich agricultural land.
 
If re-elected I will lobby to reform our planning laws in a way which helps our council save vital areas like the Blean and Brooklands Farm. Canterbury City Council are being forced to bring forward unsuitable sites, partly due to the Government’s use of seriously outdated figures, which I was recently able to confirm are based on population growth projections done in 2014.
 

Read my response to the Local Plan

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