The Mid Suffolk Green Party has hit back after the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg accused the party of winning the district council last year on a manifesto which opposed house building.

The Green Party’s co-leader, Carla Denyer, was discussing the party’s pledge to create 150,000 new council homes a year nationally, through building new homes and bringing empty homes back into use.

But Ms Kuenssberg probed further and said: “Our viewers might be a bit confused about your stance on housing because last year your party won outright control of Mid Suffolk District Council, the first time your party had done that, on the basis of a campaign that opposed house building.

“Right now in Warrington, Maidstone and South Oxfordshire, where you’ve got councillors, they’re calling for house building not to happen in their areas.”

East Anglian Daily Times:

Now the Mid Suffolk Greens have responded, rubbishing the BBC’s information.

Andrew Stringer, Mid Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Heritage, Planning and Infrastructure, said: “Our new house building local policies are quite clear.

“We agree to well-designed new house building where communities and councils have planned for the impacts. The Green Party back the use of neighbourhood plans to allow communities to plan their future growth sustainably.

“We do stand up to developers and government policies that run roughshod over communities, which is why our Green led council strives to keep our planning policy framework up to date as well as supporting parishes to deliver meaningful neighbourhood plans.

"In fact, as a Green district councillor in the past I have fought against my council to approve a brownfield site in one of my rural villages, because it was the right thing to do, and what the vast majority of my residents wanted to see.

“Our council is also trying to bring forward innovative ways of repopulating underused town centre properties, to make sure our economic and cultural centres are vibrant places to live and work.”

East Anglian Daily Times:

Tim Weller, Mid Suffolk cabinet member for environment, culture, and wellbeing, was quick to take to X to challenge the BBC journalist’s line of questioning.

He said: “Does someone in BBC Laura K’s research team need to revisit the BBC’s fact-checking elearning module? ‘No New Build’ didn’t feature in the Mid Suffolk Green’s election campaign.”

East Anglian Daily Times:

A leaflet produced by the Mid Suffolk Green Party in May 2023 called for housing reform to better meet the needs of local people.

It said: “For too long housing development has been driven by the needs of developers. We will use the powers available to us to create developments that reflect local needs, low running costs and be truly affordable.

“We will put in place effective district and neighbourhood plans to ensure that local communities voices are heard in the planning process and not return to the planning free for all we have seen over the last few years.”

The council’s planning committee has approved a number of new home developments since the Green Party won control last year, including 80 homes in Stradbroke in December (16 of which are affordable).