Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East, spoke at a conference run by Savills and Osborne Clark in Reading on 30 September. The theme of the conference was the delivery of homes under the Localism agenda.
The message from John Stewart of the HBF and the chief exec of Crest Nicholson homes was that the coalition has made a mess of the planing system by revoking the Regional Spatial Strategies for the location of new homes, and failing to replace it with anything.
Rob Wilson then delivered the standard lines from Tory HQ that the top-down system did not work (see his speech here), but offered no insights into how the localism agenda would work, or how homes that require a strategic framework (such as cross-border in Reading / West Berkshire) would be delivered.
At the end of the presentations, the audience was asked who in the room thought that Localism would deliver more homes than previously delivered (as the Tories claim). Not one hand was raised in the room. And the room was about one third full of local Councillors and local authority officers.