We’ve frequently reported on the LibDem/Tory Coalition’s National Planning Policy Framework.
We’ve stressed that its effects have been to remove powers from Local Authorities and local people. It’s been called a ’Developers’ Charter’ – and not without reason.
Recent work by the Campaign to Protect Rural England now reveals just how bad the situation has become.
‘Consequences of the planning reforms, two years on
Our latest research has revealed 700,000 houses planned in the countryside – including 200,000 allocated for the Green Belt. Thousands of acres of green fields would be lost. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.’
They stress that
‘Local communities are powerless to protect their local countryside
Between March 2013 and March 2014, at least two thirds (39 out of 58) of major housing developments turned down by local councils and taken to appeal were approved by the Secretary of State or government Planning Inspectors. This is double the number of appeals granted in the previous year.’
Take a moment to register that fully – two thirds of major housing developments which had been TURNED DOWN BY LOCAL COUNCILS which were then taken to appeal – usually of course, by developers – were then APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE – one Eric Pickles – or government planning inspectors.
Local authorities like Leeds are no longer masters in their own house when it comes to planning.
The NPPF has been a disaster.
‘The planning reforms have made it a requirement for all local authorities to have a Local Plan in place with a five year land supply allocation for housing. Such sites have to be both economically ‘viable’ and ‘deliverable’, terms which favour housing provided by large house builders on greenfield sites.
Without an approved Local Plan, local councils are under pressure of having their planning decisions being over-ruled by Planning Inspectors. This could open the way to a development free-for-all across a large part of the country.’
As we’ve said before, the NPPF loads the dice in favour of developers – and in favour of their preferred development – on greenfield sites.
It loads the dice against Local authorities, local people, brownfield development.
Our local MP, Greg Mulholland, likes to blame Leeds City Council for everything – and specifically for – as he would put it – concreting over Leeds North West.
CPRE do not agree with him.
They lay the blame fairly and squarely on the LibDem/Tory Coalition Government of which he is a member
– the LibDem/Tory Coalition Government which his election here in Leeds NW made possible.
Mr Mulholland is a past master at wriggling out of responsibility for what his own government does.
His activities in this respect make Houdini look like an amateur.
Well here’s the CPRE’s verdict
‘Local communities are powerless to protect their countryside’
Wriggle out of that one, Mr Mulholland.
And while you’re doing it, remember that Labour locally and nationally have committed to brownfield development.
Britain – and Leeds NW – Will be Better under Labour.
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