HOUSING developments are the bane of many councils' existence, but now, one exasperated councillor has suggested a novel solution.

Wallingford town council's Adrian Lloyd has said the UK should be a little bit more like South Korea.

Mr Lloyd has championed that government's Land and Housing Corporation, which takes control of the industry and keeps public interests at arm's length from profit-hungry corporations.

He was speaking after writing his council's official concerns over the latest major development proposed for Wallingford – 250 homes at the town's Hithercroft Farm.

Since 2001, South Oxfordshire District Council has granted permission for more than 1,000 homes in Wallingford in order to meet government-backed homes targets.

Those homes – mostly from the 500 at Slade End Farm and 550 at the Winterbrook site – will nearly double the size of the town.

Mr Lloyd and his council have warned that the secondary school and GP surgery are full, there is no parking space and the sewage system is literally overflowing at times, yet they are still battling fresh applications.

Mr Lloyd, who is head of the town council planning committee, put the blame squarely on current government planning policy.

He explained: "The National Planning Policy Framework is effectively a developers' charter.

"We've had permission granted for 1,055 homes in Wallingford without the infrastructure necessary to support it.

"The government is mistakenly focusing on getting planning permissions without getting infrastructure.

"We have a fairly rare combination of Medieval town centre and a lack of space to expand schools and our doctors' surgery and parking space.

"We have all these things that aren't being taken into account because the current policy favours 'sustainable development': is it saved by a bus? Is there a train station nearby? Is it walking distance to shops? – but the government's definitions of all these things are vastly different to ours."

Mr Lloyd said one of the problems caused by the current system was that developers could take advantage of rocketing land prices to claim their developments would be economically 'unviable' if they were forced to build too many affordable homes.

As a solution to that problem he advocated the Oriental model of more government control.

He said: "In South Korea you can't have a farmer selling his land to a developer: the land is purchased by this agency then the government releases it to build on."

Mr Lloyd also said he did not blame South Oxfordshire District Council for the situation, and said officers there had always given the town a fair hearing.

After Theresa May announced a series of overhauls to planning policy on Monday, including new rules to stop developers 'land banking', Mr Lloyd said the government should use the opportunity to solve other problems in the current system.

He added: "We are not anti-development, we are trying to be responsible.

"I would say it is an opportunity for the government to look at Wallingford."