I BOTH agree and disagree with Vic Barlow’s view on infrastructure before new housing.

However the thing Vic missed was the fact it isn’t actually down to councils when it comes to putting infrastructure in before new housing.

The Government ordered that councils had to have a five year housing supply, of course councils raised the subject regarding lack of infrastructure, lack of public transport, lack of school places, lack of GP surgeries and so on, when the Government insisted councils must have all this extra new-build housing.

However, legislation in the Growth and Infrastructure bill and the subsequent National Planning Framework Act 2012 meant developers had virtual free reign when putting in applications for housing.  There seems to be a massive misconception that council can just refuse applications through their planning committees but this just is not the case.

If an application complies with the national planning policy framework then councils have very little room for manoeuvre.

If planning committees refuse an application then the developer can appeal that refusal and the costs of the appeal are met by the council if it is successful.

I agree completely with Vic that of course infrastructure should come before increasing population but that very often is not in the councils’ hands because of national legislation.

By the way Vic, I am no longer a councillor so have no duty to defend them and as a former Labour councillor I had no particular love for the previous Conservative Cheshire East authority.

However, I do think we should be accurate as to who is responsible for putting in thousands of new builds before local infrastructures are ready to accommodate them.

Stephen Burns