My second speech at last night’s council meeting was a successful attempt to strengthen our policies on development on back garden land. The picture shows the view from my bedroom window. My house is not extraordinary being located in the middle of Carshalton but it is tranquil.

I sit on the Development Committee that decides on planning applications and I always take each application on its merits. However from a policy point of view we need to take advantage of the fact that we are considering our latest overarching policy document for planning in the borough, the Local Development Framework. My amendment that was agreed at the meeting called upon the council to strengthen our policies for gardens in this paper.

Conservatives have taken a lead on this issue nationally over the last year. Newly elected MP, Greg Clark put forward a bill in Parliament to remove back gardens from the definition of brownfield sites. Yesterday David Cameron called for “fewer houses designed for young, single people and more designed for life.” It is ridiculous that whole streets of houses are being demolished in the north whilst infrastructure is squeezed in the south. The Southeast of England has less rainfall per head of population than the Sudan. The day I see a rush to buy holiday homes in Khartoum is the day that I will accept such high housing targets without policies seeking to encourage people to relocate to other parts of the country.