Following a by-election setback, Johnson is under fire for his planning reforms.


Following a by-election setback, Johnson is under fire for his planning reforms.

Boris Johnson was under greater pressure to reconsider his planning changes after the Conservatives suffered a stunning defeat in the Chesham and Amersham by-election.

After the Liberal Democrats gained the Buckinghamshire seat, which has been a Tory bastion since its inception in 1974, cabinet colleagues were alleged to be among those warning the Prime Minister.

The HS2 train line, which is being built through the Chilterns, was a prominent campaign issue, as were proposed planning reforms, which have generated concerns about developing in the countryside around the seat.

Sir Ed Davey predicted that his party’s triumph would “send a tremor through British politics,” stating that the result showed that the Tory “Blue Wall” of southern seats was vulnerable.

When asked if he was disregarding people in the South in favor of those in the North, Mr Johnson said that “it was obviously a disappointing result,” but claimed that “we believe in uniting and leveling up within regions and across the country.”

Following Thursday’s setback, Tory rebels were looking for a way to scale down the planning recommendations before the legislation was submitted in the Commons.

Amanda Milling, the Conservative Party’s co-chair, stated that “concerns about planning and HS2 were loud and clear.”

“I have no doubt that this outcome is a warning shot,” she said in the Telegraph, adding that “the people have spoken, and we have listened.”

In the same publication, former environment secretary Theresa Villiers advised ministers to “take this as an opportunity to reassess their approach to planning reform.”

“This by-election outcome should pave the way for a drop in London suburbs and South East housing targets,” she said.

“Rather than trying to pack tens of thousands more people into the already overcrowded South, we need a more equitable allocation of new dwellings around the country. Brownfield sites in metropolitan inner city neighborhoods need to be given more attention.”

Bob Seely, a Tory MP for the Isle of Wight, added that the government “badly needs to think again about.” (This is a brief piece.)


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