The Stroud MP's weekly column.

I am battling to ensure funding continues for our local Community Land Trusts (CLT) who help ensure we have affordable homes here in Stroud.

Thank you to Nailsworth CLT for letting me join their AGM last week and for information from Eastington CLT.

Few people have faith in the word ‘affordable’ when it is attached to housing but the CLTs have found a way to build affordable homes and they are also building trust in the planning system.

Both Eastington Community Land Trust and Nailsworth Community Land Trust (NCLT) have successfully built experienced teams who are poised and ready to move forward. I told the Chancellor we risk losing their skills, energy and enthusiasm while we wait for a decision about the CHF.

I would also like to thank my constituents, parish councils, councillors and councils who contacted me about the government’s White Paper consultation on planning reform and gave their informed views.

I certainly agree we need to protect our AONB and our green environment. The first consultation saw me reject the government’s proposed algorithm for housing numbers, which would see far too many houses for Stroud and Gloucestershire generally.

In the second consultation, I have said the reforms need to have a community focus, increase, not undermine local democracy and strengthen and simplify local plans to ensure development is led by communities.

I have also said we must ensure building takes place where planning permissions have already been granted rather than constantly look to new sites. While Covid-19 issues are extremely pressing, planning reforms will affect all of us and it is important to scrutinise government proposals. The government is listening and I think there will be changes to the planning proposals.