Lunchtime news May 22

Lunchtime news May 22



Yesterday’s planning white paper rejected changes in policy on the green belt – one of the key concerns raised by Kate Barker in her independent review of land use planning just six months ago. Barker argued that the green belt now accounts for 13% of land in England and that policy had to be reviewed, with particular encouragement for proposals that include measures to enhance the surrounding area, such as open-access woodland. However, the white paper commits the govenment to existing policy on the green belt and no fundamental change to planning policy.

The Church of England has thrown its weight behind the Still Human Still Here campaign to highlight the plight of refused asylum seekers.





Polly Toynbee lays into the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in her Guardian column for playing politics with climate change by opposing home information packs in the Lords.

Margaret Hodge‘s call for British people to get priority for council housing continues to generate controversy and coverage. Guardian reporters gauge reaction in Barking while a leader says she is misguided. But Patrick O’Flynn in the Express says ‘at last, someone gets it’.

Labour deputy leadership candidate Jon Cruddas tells the Guardian why housing is at the heart of his campaign. ‘When we started talking about housing a year ago, no one was talking about it – now everyone is,’ he says.

The DCLG says it will consider reforming or scrapping a range of performance indicators on housing and homelessness. The detail of its response to the Lifting the Burdens Task Force Report on housing and planning, says it will consider a proposal to drop the ‘meaningless’ indicator on the number of rough sleepers.