We visited Ashford MP, Rt. Hon Damian Green today to discuss our thoughts on the government planning White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ and the more immediate changes proposed to the planning system.
Our message was simple;
- Target the developers and management companies to meet the government housing targets. They land bank planning approvals but do not build . Do not blame local people. The Local Government Association ( LGA) estimates that there are one million unbuilt houses in the planning system that have been approved by councils but not delivered. We have many examples locally. If these were built, the housing targets could easily be met without the need to sacrifice more fields for housing.
- The proposal to limit local input to the making of the Local Plan is undemocratic and unworkable; people care about development when it is imminent, next door and about to impact their lives. Local Plans are made many years in advance and people do not relate to them. Democracy is about freedom to express a view – not processes that limit local input to drive desired outcomes for developers.
Our message to Boris is therefore; the planning system is far from perfect but please put the pressure where it is needed; reform delivery, don’t punish local people. Legislate to ensure that once planning approval is given, developers have to commit to building out sites within a defined timescale.
The slogan should be Deliver, Deliver, Deliver! not Build, Build Build!