Lord Save Us From Alex ‘half baked’ Morton – Now the Policy Exchange wants to Abolish Masterplanning
Oh no yet another daft report from Alex (famously christen ‘half baked’ by Shaun Spiers’) Morton.
The idea of ‘local homes for local people’ is that when you cant hit your 5 year supply the LPA has to auction off land releases in parcels to self builders, who then have to live in the houses for 5 years. The rather silly veil being to boost self building – a good thing – over the totally economically discredited Tim Leunig idea of land auctions (selling off planning permissions), which as we demonstrated and Tim Leunig despite many challenges denies to rebut would always see the very worst and least accessible land coming forward, privistising sprawl.
This latest bonkers idea to privitise planning or rather privitise sprawl, is even less oven ready than usual for this infamous dumb tank.
Its hard to know where to begin with Alex, he lacks a practicality gene, but ok for starters who would determine whether or not an LPA lacked a 5 years supply? These arguements use up weeks at planning inquiries and local plan inquiries. It would inevitably lead to a rush of appeal led planning as owners of bad sites seek to establish this at appeal even on sites they know they will lose on other grounds, simply then to trigger the land auction process. So then land could be released via this process even if a few weeks before it had lost at appeal, even with the NPPFl – duh!
The report spends pages slagging planning by appeal, of course exactly the system the policy exchange lobbied for and got through the NPPF, oh such short memories, but we are talking about the dumbest of dumb tanks.
And so the ‘solution’ land auctions. Amazingly although he proposes a subdivision based system he does not state at all how sites will be subdivided into plots. One can only infer that this will be left to developers without any planning control whatsover. It would be just like the endless unplanned and non-masterplanned subddivisions you find around american sprawl downs and mega cities in the developing world – so now the Policy Exchange are proposing Favellas in Kent. However good the individual self builds are – and any fan of JFC Turners works knows this can be outstanding even in the poorest communities – the planning will be appalling. Policy Exchange suggests a neighbourhood plann type process to set design codes, but what if the successful land auction bidder has already sold off the plots one by one, as they would, just like land scammers. This would be legalizing land scamming.