South east Councillors are set to clash with planners from the regional assembly over moves to allow further developments in the area

The South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) is bracing itself for a barrage of criticism from local councils as the two groups meet today to discuss plans to build 720,000 homes in the region by 2026. Planning officers from the unelected SEERA have increased the proposals to build 34,000 homes a year, rather than the 29,500 originally planned.

The leader of Kent County Council Conservative Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart has denounced the plans as “absolutely crazy”. If they were to go ahead, they would outstrip John Prescott’s vision for sustainable housing in the South east by 20%.

Last Friday the East of England Regional Assembly voted in favour of plans to build almost half a million new homes in the area by 2021. Councillors in the South east hope to prevent a similar measure being passed to allow further developments in Oxfordshire, south Hampshire and the Thames Valley. SEERA believes the extra housing is needed to maintain economic growth.