Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 10 July 2024

New housing minister who will lead charge to bulldoze Britain’s greenbelt moaned high-rise plans in his own constituency were ‘wholly inappropriate’

Labour’s new housing minister tried to block a £770million property development in his constituency – despite Rachel Reeves using her first speech as Chancellor to launch a campaign against Nimbys.

Matthew Pennycook, the Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, objected to the 1,500-home project and moaned to the council that the proposed high-rise apartments were ‘wholly inappropriate’.

His letter, sent as the constituency MP in 2021, said the plans would have a ‘detrimental impact’ on the ‘local heritage’ – despite the developer claiming it would improve a brownfield industrial site, create 1,100 new jobs and generate £42million a year in ‘socioeconomic value’ to the area.

It comes after Ms Reeves, the new Chancellor, revealed plans to relax planning laws in her first major speech.

Ms Reeves has vowed a dramatic overhaul of the ‘timid’ planning system, aiming to build 1.5million new homes over the next five years.

Despite his new role in delivering this, Mr Pennycook got involved in a planning dispute over a development called Modern Wharf in his east London constituency.

He opposed the plans for 1,500 homes – a third of which would be ‘affordable’ – as he complained high rise properties on the Greenwich Peninsular were too tall, The Telegraph reports.

The local council approved the development – which proposes a 19-acre site with four tower blocks rising between 21 and 26 storeys – in the autumn of 2021, but work has not begun.

Mr Pennycook – who was appointed housing minister on Friday – wrote at the time: ‘I feel strongly that the proposals submitted would be inappropriate for the site in question and would have a detrimental impact on the existing character of the area.’

 He claimed the council should reject it because of ‘namely the excessive heights of several of the buildings’.

In his letter, he agreed in principle to mixed-use developments for ‘what is unquestionably an underutilised site, it is imperative that any development authorised be appropriate’ .

He accepted tall buildings conformed to local planning policy, but objected to the height of the proposes high rises because the nearby tower blocks only had 18 storeys.

The MP wrote: ‘Four towers between 21 and 36 storeys would be inappropriate for this site and would have a detrimental impact on the existing character of the area and local heritage assets.

‘They would represent an abrupt and dramatic increase in building heights relative to the adjacent buildings.’

A Labour source told the Telegraph the minister remains convinced a better development could still be used for the brownfield site.

‘Despite planning consent being acquired by the developer for this substandard, speculative application, not a single housing unit has yet been delivered,’ they said.

Read More: New housing minister who will lead charge to bulldoze Britain’s greenbelt moaned high-rise plans in his own constituency were ‘wholly inappropriate’

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