During Labour's conference I attended an excellent fringe event on greenfield versus brownfield house building with the Federation of Master Builders and the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Very relevant to the concerns of Stockton South residents about housing development on the green wedge.
I want to get behind the FMB's campaign to reduce the 20% VAT on housing repairs. It is zero rated for new builds. There is a debate to be had on where the line is drawn but the current situation is clearly wrong as there is little incentive to restore or refurbish.
During conference, shadow planning minister Roberta Blackman-Woods announced that a Labour government would change the government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to strengthen the 'brownfield first' policy that worked well under Labour. She also said that communities would be involved in decisions on where new housing goes and what it looks like.
This would make a huge difference in Stockton South where under this Conservative government the concerns of local residents about green wedge development have been sidelined in favour of developers.