PLANNING minister Nick Boles MP attempted to ease any tensions and erase any concerns developers and councillors had when he visited Warrington on Thursday to discuss the planning policy.

Mr Boles said it was important to find out how the current policy is working across the country to make sure the housing crisis is prevented from escalating any further.

He said: “What we want is a planning system which operates quickly, predictably and helps us to get the amount of housing that we need but equally protects green belt and beautiful areas at the same time.”

“There are very different pressures, very different tensions and very different needs across the country so it’s really important to come and listen to people about how things are working out in practice.”

Speaking to the Warrington Guardian, Mr Boles added that revising green belt land should be the exception.

Mr Boles said: “Pretty much any development is inappropriate on the green belt. Nevertheless, there are certain circumstances when a council can review its green belt boundaries when it is needed.”

David Mowat MP for Warrington South was present at the meeting and argued that the planning system is flawed.

He added that the meeting on Thursday would help give a clearer insight into what is needed to tackle the ‘controversial’ issues surrounding planning.

“Planning is quite a controversial area as we need more houses. Everyone wants more houses but we are not building enough,” said Mr Mowat.

“This is wrong and the answer is because the planning system doesn’t work properly or it is often too difficult to get planning permission.”

Mr Mowat said it was down to the council to fill the demand in the area for housing and that Mr Boles had implemented systems to ensure that enough houses are built to meet the growing population.

Mr Boles added: “Councils to need to look at population projections, household projections, historic patterns in migration from other parts of the country and any big economic developments.

“This will enable them to come up with a figure for the next 15 years so they can build enough houses.”