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Bad planning

September 17, 2020 8:45 PM

The Conservative Government published a White Paper, 'Planning for the Future' on 6 August, which set out proposals on reforms to the planning process.

The proposals will reduce or remove the right of residents to object to applications near them, grant automatic rights for developers to build on land identified as 'for growth', and remove section 106 payments for infrastructure, with financial contributions going to the government instead.

Liberal Democrat councillors have pointed out that most planning applications are given the go ahead by local authorities, with permission granted to around 9 out of 10 applications.
Research by the Local Government Association shows there to be existing planning permissions for more than one million homes that have not been started.

The Royal Institute for British Architects has called the proposals 'shameful and ... will do almost nothing to guarantee delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes'. RIBA also said the proposals could lead to the next generation of slum housing.

Existing planning procedures are not perfect, but they do allow some local democratic input which is valued by residents. The effect of the Tory proposals would be unregulated growth and unsustainable communities.

When coupled with the loss of control of housing land supply in Wiltshire caused by the Conservative administration in County Hall, the proposals could lead to a rash of building of large featureless suburban estates on greenfield sites around our market towns.