James O’ O’Shaughnessy up to his usual neoliberal nuttiness – every house should be allowed to build an extra story
Failed Downing Street Aide James O’ O’Shaughnessy, who previously advocated that planning should have no role over design, scale and use, and that Urban Sprawl is a good thing has been up to his craziness again. Telegraph
The book was launched by Bright Blue, a pressure group of [extreme neoliberal] Tory activists, councillors and MPs which includes planning minister Nick Boles, home secretary Theresa May and universities minister David Willetts as board members.
A chapter of the book authored by James O’Shaughnessy, Prime Minister David Cameron’s former director of policy, says that planning rules should be relaxed to “allow every homeowner to build an additional storey to their home, without planning permission and subject only to building regulations”.
It adds: “This simple rule would allow every family to grow their property more cheaply.”
The recommendation follows a row over the coalition government’s plans to relax planning rules for a three-year period to allow homeowners and businesses to build larger extensions to their properties without the need for planning permission.
O’Shaughnessy also recommends that every local authority should be compelled to make enough land available to accommodate three per cent growth each year. Non-compliance with this rule would mean “losing the right to refuse any development in the area”, the book says.
The ideas are among a set of proposed reforms that O’Shaughnessy says “could attract the aspirers to support the Conservatives”.
Elsewhere in the book, David Skelton, the acting director of the Policy Exchange think-tank, says that the government’s current planning reforms “don’t do enough to break from top-down planning by local authorities”.
Skelton says that current incentives are “still spread much too thinly, over a whole local authority area, which does little to placate local people, who are affected by development”.
He recommends that planning reforms should be explicitly marketed as a way to generate growth in northern cities and help young people get on the housing ladder.