Consultation on proposed changes to national planning policy

Some good and some bad.

The brownfield ideas (even on greenbelt) seem reasonable, as does the focus on affordable and starter homes, but oh dear! – Housing Delivery (27 onwards).

What I read is the rod being flexed to continue to beat Local Authorities about the head for non-delivery, while it’s the developers who should be taking the beating IMHO. After all, who is building the houses! Not Local Authorities.

In this respect I cannot but feel that these changes leave the NPPF as an ongoing developer’s charter, but with lip service paid to buzz-word topics like affordable and start-up housing.

Again while Neighbourhood Plans might be able to allocate specific sites to start up and affordable housing numbers, will the developers comply and build them? or will the levels be negotiated away to obtain fatter S106 funding? (Just look at what has happened at Woodside Quarry, West Park, Leeds,  where affordables have been negotiated down to 5% (from 35%!)).

There is no right of community appeal offered in these revisions and that I feel leaves the whole thing as a tool continuing to favour the developer and resulting in planning continuing to be “done” to our communities.

Martin Hughes