Why was Cable and not Boles talking to ITV news – because the PM has gagged him talking about the Green Belt this side of the election as he can never talk a balanced argument about planning and is scaring voters to UKIP. But Cable seems to still think planning operates like in the days he was a local cllr 40 years ago, it certainly does not operates in a ‘planned, organised way’ any more.
Mr Cable backed local authorities like Cambridge City Council, which has sparked local anger by pushing through plans to allow 430 new homes on the city’s precious Green Belt as part of a wider expansion of the city.siness Secretary Vince Cable said Britain’s housing crisis meant that building on Green Belt land should be ‘encouraged’
Asked whether he backed Cambridge’s stance, Mr Cable told ITV News: ‘Yes, they are absolutely right to do so. We have a chronic imbalance between the supply and demand of housing.
‘We need additional supply. We’ve got just over 100,000 a year. We probably need three times that, certainly two times that.
‘If it’s done in a planned, organised way, as Cambridge proposes to do it, as I would suggest and my party suggests to do it, through new garden cities across the country. If it’s done in a proper way that protects recreational land and places of beauty, with proper amenities, then this is something that should be encouraged.’
Mr Cable said he supported the Coalition’s controversial relaxation of the planning laws, saying the previous regime had become ‘quite burdensome and bureaucratic’.
He insisted the Government did not want to ‘sacrifice’ the Green Belt to meet housing demand, but said there were ‘large areas’ that were not beauty spots.
‘We’re not talking sacrifice,’ he said. ‘We’re talking about a sensible, balanced distribution of land. There is a sensible basis – a planned basis – for using land outside of cities. Of course there may well have to be more housing in London and big cities and we all accept that.Mr Cable said local councils are ‘absolutely right’ to allow house building on the Green Belt
‘People in cities deserve a good quality of life. There are large areas of the country which are not beauty spots and are not necessary for environmental purposes and providing the building takes place in a systematic organised way, within limits, then that is a much better way to proceed than a patchwork quilt of suburban sprawl.’
Mr Cable defended the right of local people and politicians to protest against major housing schemes, but suggested their main concern was often financial.
He said: ‘Anyone who is an elected politician like me, you have to defend your constituents’ interests. Very often they resist change and that’s part of the democratic process and we have to respect that.
‘But very often the key issue is whether communities received adequate compensation for the expansion that takes place and that’s why this government has introduced the community infrastructure levy.’