THE announcement by the government’s housing secretary that councils could be stripped of planning powers if not enough homes are being built, has been criticised by a Trowbridge councillor.

Sajid Javid said this week that he would be ‘breathing down’ the necks of local authorities to ensure building targets, set by the government, are met.

Cllr Peter Fuller, however, believes that this is the wrong way to go about it.

“I have sat on planning committees for many years and I don’t personally think government should restrict in the way local authorities look at planning applications,” he said.

“They have a system that covers cases where there are doubts about applications. Appeals take place all the time and then the Planning Inspectorate get involved too.

“It is wrong to force this on them, especially when developers sometimes take too long to actually build the houses.”