We would like to correct the misinformation currently circulating about the "Lib Dem run council’s housing numbers". While the Conservative Government leaves it to Maidstone Borough Council to find where the housing goes, it is the Conservative Government, not the Borough, which insists that the numbers according to their own assessed calculations must be met.
The government's new figures increased the Borough’s housing target by 40% from 883 units per year to 1236. If the Borough Council fails to meet this target it would lead to planning applications that are refused by the council being overturned at appeal by the government inspector. This would happen even in sensitive locations where the council had, for example, refused consent due to traffic considerations or because it was a valued landscape.
The "call for sites" brought about submissions for sites throughout the borough. The next stage is for the council to review those sites to determine how the new target for housing will be met. Only a small number of the sites put forward will be chosen to deliver the housing numbers and the rest will be rejected.
It is worth pointing out that while the Leader of Maidstone Borough council is a Lib Dem, it is a council with no overall political party control. Indeed, the Conservatives have more members than the Lib Dems on the powerful Strategic Planning Committee which deals with these issues and they also hold the Chair so have a casting vote when voting is tied.
The Lib Dems are working hard to try and form a consensus across political groups as to how these housing numbers can be achieved as we believe the housing issues are far too important for our communities to be used in a game of party political point-scoring.