02/10/2011 The Politics Show South East


02/10/2011

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 02/10/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Green campaigners see red all over a possible relaxation of planning

0:00:350:00:40

laws on green belt or land. Are the Conservatives are planning to pick

0:00:400:00:50
0:00:500:00:50

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2149 seconds

0:00:500:36:40

If coming up in the next 20 minutes it - green campaigners see red over

0:36:400:36:47

the relaxation of planning laws. Art Conservatives appearing to pit

0:36:470:36:55

development above core vote. immediate impact could be concerned

0:36:550:37:00

considerable, if people see their government is responsible for

0:37:000:37:04

making these radical changes which they would see would be for the

0:37:040:37:14
0:37:140:37:16

worse. And it is David Cameron second-bottom conference as a

0:37:160:37:20

Conservative Prime Minister. How is he feeling in the Conservative

0:37:200:37:26

heartland. It is not often you find staunch Conservatives in the

0:37:260:37:28

party's heartlands getting upset about their ministers' policies,

0:37:280:37:31

but the plans put forward by Greg Clark, the Planning Minister and

0:37:310:37:34

Tunbridge Wells MP, to relax planning laws have got a lot of

0:37:340:37:37

them very worked up. Opponents, which include the National Trust,

0:37:370:37:40

say the new policy will allow houses to be built on greenbelt

0:37:400:37:43

land here in the South East. The government argues the change will

0:37:430:37:45

kick start the economy and provide much needed homes. But are

0:37:450:37:48

Conservative ministers prepared to lose support from their core voters

0:37:480:37:51

in order to push through their plans? We will be asking the

0:37:510:37:53

Sevenoaks MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party Michael

0:37:530:38:03
0:38:030:38:04

Fallon in a moment. First, Helen Drew reports. The Garden of England

0:38:040:38:10

- that is how Ken it is widely known and how many of the county

0:38:100:38:14

resident sea area. It is no surprise they are prepared to go

0:38:150:38:20

into battle over the Government's planning reforms. It may come to

0:38:200:38:26

the extent that some Conservative voters stop voting blue in order to

0:38:260:38:32

protect their land. There is a plan to grant planning permission across

0:38:320:38:39

certain areas of Green Belt. When developers patent applications, the

0:38:390:38:44

date default position will be to say yes, so we could see a lot more

0:38:450:38:49

houses springing up around a or countryside. The Government say

0:38:490:38:55

this is designed to help people get on the property ladder for the

0:38:550:39:04

first time. He owned five acres of land here. We Jewett be tempted to

0:39:040:39:12

sell it to developers? Well, if someone was going to get me

0:39:120:39:16

millions of pounds, of course they would consider it. But what the

0:39:160:39:22

needs to happen is that the law needs to protect the people from in

0:39:220:39:27

this instance, people like me. I am very unhappy about this and I think

0:39:270:39:30

the Government needs to rethink this. It will have a serious effect

0:39:300:39:38

on the way of life for people here. The default in favour of

0:39:380:39:43

development means only those with special exemption will be able to

0:39:430:39:53

refuse plans. One of these - the National Trust has looked at the

0:39:530:40:00

plans and is very concerned. He can see behind me the other areas that

0:40:000:40:07

are not protected and they could be up for grabs. It will mean that

0:40:070:40:11

those areas that have previously remained beautiful and a place

0:40:110:40:15

where people can used for recreation and other rural

0:40:150:40:18

enterprises will actually be up for grabs for development and the local

0:40:180:40:22

people will not be able to do anything about it. That is going to

0:40:220:40:30

make a massive impact on our work countryside. A in this country pub,

0:40:300:40:37

locals were enjoying beautiful views over the countryside. It

0:40:370:40:41

these plans go through far more building on greenfield sites, can

0:40:410:40:45

you imagine more building and a beautiful place like this? Where

0:40:450:40:55
0:40:550:40:56

else would you find such a view? came joy this lovely scenery

0:40:560:40:59

absolutely not. It is great that we have got this and we should

0:40:590:41:09

treasure it. It is part of England's heritage. It is important

0:41:090:41:14

that we do not overdo this. It is important that we do not spoil all

0:41:140:41:24

or green-belt site. So has Kent lost the countryside? It largely

0:41:240:41:29

vote Conservative, so we'll try to boost the economy, are the in

0:41:290:41:36

danger of alienating their heart wind fought? - - their heart land

0:41:370:41:46
0:41:470:41:48

what? There is not the solid case of people voting Conservative here

0:41:480:41:57

since the early days of time. It is very volatile here and it will have

0:41:570:42:04

an impact on the vote at both counsel and Parliamentary level.

0:42:040:42:07

people could have a look at the proposals and see how this proposal

0:42:070:42:15

was going to work, the may be less worried. At the moment, they have a

0:42:150:42:20

notion that the Government is changing planning laws which will

0:42:200:42:25

only be in the interests of development. If this policy is

0:42:250:42:32

designed to boost the economy at the risk of losing the heart one

0:42:320:42:40

vote, it is not worth it. Government recently misjudged the

0:42:400:42:46

mood of the land as regards the selling-off of would land areas.

0:42:460:42:50

But it may well be appear this is one battle the do not want to lose,

0:42:500:42:57

even at the cost of core voters. Helen Drew reporting. Joining us

0:42:570:43:00

now is the Sevenoaks MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party,

0:43:000:43:03

Michael Fallon. Your party members are really unhappy about this,

0:43:030:43:11

aren't they? I think they have been upset by some of the myths that

0:43:110:43:16

have been put about. Green Belt areas and areas of natural beauty

0:43:160:43:23

will not be affected. What's all this will rest on it is having a

0:43:230:43:29

good local plan. Under the old system, Ministers decided by your

0:43:290:43:36

council had to build 3,000 houses a year or what ever it was. It will

0:43:360:43:43

now be harder for developers to get through that. For firstly, you

0:43:430:43:46

mentioned the Green Belt. The clause that is upsetting people is

0:43:460:43:51

that there is an exception for villages with limited affordable

0:43:510:43:57

housing. That describes Wordsley every village in Kent, Sussex and

0:43:570:44:07
0:44:070:44:08

Surrey? You can get affordable housing built on Green Belt areas

0:44:080:44:14

at the moment. That has not changed. Let us face it, we need to make

0:44:140:44:18

sure we have affordable housing in the future for the children of the

0:44:180:44:25

people who are living just now. But we are intent on protecting areas

0:44:250:44:32

of natural beauty. He see local councils could drop their on plant

0:44:320:44:36

and then developers would come along and not be able to touch it.

0:44:360:44:40

But the Conservative estimate is that two-thirds of Conservative

0:44:400:44:48

councils are not ready to deal with this when it is made lot. He is, it

0:44:480:44:53

is a fair point that they have not got the plans in place now. But we

0:44:530:44:57

are consulting in changing the paperwork and they will need a

0:44:570:45:03

couple of years to get local plans in place. Even if there was going

0:45:030:45:06

to be a radical change in the number of planning applications

0:45:060:45:10

that could get through, that would not start for a couple of years.

0:45:100:45:15

That would give the council's time to get this in place. But once they

0:45:150:45:22

have got this in place and decided how many houses they want, it will

0:45:220:45:29

be harder for developers to get through. The consultation is due to

0:45:290:45:39
0:45:390:45:43

end in October. A year trying to rush this true? Well, we cannot

0:45:430:45:47

really women the situation. If we took her time over it, people and

0:45:470:45:54

we would be accused of being too indecisive. Are you surprised by

0:45:540:45:59

how strongly how the likes of the Daily Telegraph Telegraph, a

0:45:590:46:06

traditional Conservative paper, has started a huge campaign against it?

0:46:060:46:11

No, in the likes of Sevenoaks it is the major issue, possibly the most

0:46:110:46:19

important one. But in the past, if development was turned down, it

0:46:190:46:23

just went to appeal and the developers would win an appeal

0:46:230:46:29

against the council. Development is a big issue in the South East. It

0:46:290:46:36

is a very sensitive issue. More asked of us would agree that we

0:46:360:46:43

need more below cost homes. But it is the way the argument is being

0:46:430:46:46

put forward that is the problem. You are having difficulty

0:46:460:46:54

persuading people about this are you? Yes, it is something that we

0:46:540:47:01

have to deal with. The revised wording will be different and there

0:47:010:47:06

is time for local councils to get cracking and draw up plans. But

0:47:060:47:11

across the country, we're not just talking about attractive

0:47:110:47:16

countryside and Green Belt in Kent, across the country been need to

0:47:160:47:20

make sure there is land for sensible development for affordable

0:47:200:47:27

homes and offices that we need. are these core voters we saw in

0:47:270:47:35

that film worth upsetting in order to kick-start the economy? The will,

0:47:350:47:44

we all this they do not want to lose any voters. But this will

0:47:440:47:51

simplify the system and will put local people more in charge.

0:47:510:47:58

sounds as if you may be willing to lose some votes for this? This is

0:47:580:48:07

causing problems. It is not going away. How do we resolve this?

0:48:070:48:09

it will affect every town and village and we want a balance

0:48:090:48:13

between simplifying the local system and putting the local

0:48:130:48:18

council in charge and protecting what we all hold dear, which is the

0:48:180:48:22

Green Belt and the areas of natural beauty. It is a balance. That is

0:48:220:48:27

what we're going to work on. Changes in planning law may well

0:48:270:48:30

encourage growth, but what about changes to the tax system? Finding

0:48:300:48:33

a tax which is cheap to collect, hard to avoid and does not

0:48:330:48:36

discourage people from earning more would surely be a good idea. Step

0:48:360:48:40

forward the Land Value Tax, a way of taxing wealth - the land people

0:48:400:48:43

own - instead of their income. The LVT has traditionally been

0:48:430:48:45

perceived as a socialist policy, but this week a Conservative MP

0:48:450:48:48

argued that it would be a very sensible solution to our economic

0:48:480:48:54

difficulties. So is it an idea whose time has come? Michael Fallon

0:48:540:48:57

is still here and David Wetzel from the Labour Land Campaign joins us

0:48:570:49:05

in the studio. Mr Wetzel, for those new to the concept of a Land Value

0:49:050:49:13

Tax, how would it work? It works on the principle that all land was

0:49:130:49:21

originally provided three and land is there for people to use an by

0:49:220:49:28

taxing land values, we are sharing the land wealth, the rental value

0:49:280:49:33

of will. It is ironic listening to the earlier discussion is that one

0:49:330:49:36

of the reasons there is such pressure and the countryside in the

0:49:360:49:41

South East is because we are not using the land in the North of this

0:49:410:49:48

country. If we had the land value Tex and reduced other taxes on

0:49:480:49:56

wages, income tax, reduce taxes like VAT, the businesses would

0:49:570:50:00

deign to want to go talk in the North of England and we would see

0:50:000:50:07

more use of regional airports and we would not need to build on the

0:50:070:50:13

countryside. The that is probably not an argument that is selling

0:50:130:50:19

itself to the Conservative MP in the south. I you completely

0:50:190:50:25

disagreeing with this question mark no, I am not completely against

0:50:260:50:31

this. Where I do agree with this it is that there are people sitting on

0:50:310:50:38

land and it is important that the simplifying the land system is

0:50:380:50:45

brought in. It is just about how to do it. I am not sure a new tax is

0:50:450:50:55
0:50:550:50:55

the way to do it. What impact could it have in the South East? People

0:50:550:50:59

holding buildings or were used because over time they make a

0:50:590:51:06

profit - empty buildings - and sites. In London, there is to bomb

0:51:060:51:14

sites that still have not been built on. If owners want to get an

0:51:140:51:24

income from these sites, they will have to do something with them.

0:51:240:51:32

There is that Joe is that it would help - - not help elderly people

0:51:320:51:41

and the likes of farmers. In the likes of Australia, the exempted a

0:51:410:51:51
0:51:510:51:52

percentage of this from that. is what one named P said. He said

0:51:520:51:56

if you exempted the elderly people and farmers, it could be a workable

0:51:560:52:03

problem. If you look any new tax, you have to look at other people

0:52:030:52:09

there could then get caught up in it. I think we both want to see

0:52:090:52:13

into development and we need to make planning simpler. Firstly,

0:52:130:52:19

people simply need to know where they stand. The value of London

0:52:190:52:21

property has shot up in recent years and there is nothing holding

0:52:210:52:29

them back from developing. problem is that they will make

0:52:290:52:37

money from somebody else selling it on. They have tried to tax

0:52:370:52:42

development value it and that stops development. It keeps the place

0:52:420:52:49

idol. If you bring in this tax, it pushes the system a long-standing

0:52:490:52:55

encourages development. Vince Cable said this might work and he has

0:52:550:53:00

talked about a mansion tanks. If the 50 p tax rate was scrapped,

0:53:000:53:10
0:53:100:53:13

what you'd would you be happy with as an alternative? If you're going

0:53:130:53:18

to do something for the wealthiest, you have to make sure that they are

0:53:180:53:26

also carrying a fair burden of revenue that you're bringing in.

0:53:260:53:31

Clamping down on tax avoidance is one of the ways you could do that.

0:53:310:53:39

Doing all that stuff is extremely important. We will certainly look

0:53:390:53:45

at these things. The aim here is common. We do not want people just

0:53:450:53:53

sitting on land and it not been used. The Institute of Fiscal

0:53:530:53:58

Studies looked at for four years at a or system and recommended an

0:53:580:54:04

introduction of Land Value Tax. Frankie both very much.

0:54:040:54:07

The economy and, in particular, growth will no doubt be discussed

0:54:070:54:10

at length at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this week.

0:54:100:54:13

It is David Cameron's second autumn conference as Prime Minister and he

0:54:130:54:16

will want to show that the Coalition is making progress, but

0:54:160:54:18

also appease his backbenchers. Our political editor Louise Stewart

0:54:180:54:27

joins me now. It is not just backbenchers. A lot of Conservative

0:54:270:54:35

people in the South East and are very unhappy about this. I was

0:54:350:54:39

quite surprised to hear Michael Fallon there. He all but admitted

0:54:390:54:44

that they are struggling to sell this. I think there could be a

0:54:440:54:48

change in the language after the consultation period in October. At

0:54:480:54:55

the moment, you asked him is it worth risking core voters, but we

0:54:550:54:59

have not dissuaded them yet. It is clear that they have not won this

0:54:590:55:09
0:55:090:55:10

argument. Last year, it appeared that Ed Miliband was may be trying

0:55:100:55:15

to appeal to the left of the party, which might leave the more floating

0:55:150:55:19

middle ground area. Is David Cameron going to try an appeal to

0:55:190:55:27

that? He is troubled by the fact that many people still see the

0:55:270:55:32

Conservative Party as the nasty party. What is not helpful is that

0:55:320:55:40

the liberals tend to grab the higher ground on softer issues.

0:55:400:55:45

What can we expect to hear from David Cameron this week? I think we

0:55:450:55:53

will hear about riots, rights and responsibilities. David Cameron

0:55:530:55:57

will be giving the message that you cannot get something for nothing.

0:55:570:56:01

He will want to talk about immigration, crime, all the things

0:56:020:56:05

that play it well in the Harland and the things that they think the

0:56:050:56:09

Conservative Party moved away from at the last election.

0:56:090:56:11

Louise will be blogging and tweeting from the Conservative

0:56:110:56:14

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS