EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell is concerned at planning reforms.

This week she formally responded to the government’s consultation on the issue.  

Caroline said: “Unlike many places in the south-east, the proposed Standard Method Algorithm will decrease the number of houses that need to be built in Eastbourne.   

However, this is not the good news it appears. The decrease, using the algorithm, lowers the number from 600+ to 400+ per year when we currently struggle to build 200+.   

What an algorithm doesn’t recognise is the fact that Eastbourne is really rather hemmed in by the sea and by the South Downs National Park and building space is at a premium, likewise that Willingdon is at great risk of disproportionate development in the Wealden constituency.  All points I have made to the consultation.   

I certainly believe the planning system needs reform and I welcome the government’s ambition to make changes especially around green technology and promoting biodiversity.   

However, I would very much like any reform to ensure developers build what is already agreed.   

Between 2010 and 2017, 80% of residential applications were granted across the country but nearly half remain unbuilt and this means there are currently up to 1m permissions not yet completed. That translates to over 1000 homes in Eastbourne.   

It’s quite clear this backlog is unsustainable. We need to incentivise building out of existing sites and not reward a failure to build.

The Department for International Trade has announced that British businesses will be able to continue bidding for public sector contracts around the world worth over £1.3 trillion a year, after engagement with WTO members.

Furthermore, the Government Procurement Agreement Committee confirmed that the UK can join the GPA as an independent nation from 1st January. “