Bonkers Texas Republicans Oppose World Heritage Sites – requires “Removal of the United States from united States Soil’

From the Texas Republican State Party Platform

United Nations- The United Nations is a detriment to the sovereignty of the United States and other countries, and because of this we support:

• Our withdrawal from the c (sic)

• The removal of the United States from United States soil

• The rejection of all Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 policies and programs

• The rejection of all related NGO’s, Councils, and Environmental Programs

• A zero budget allotment of American tax dollars to any United Nations programs

• The opposition of any designation of World Heritage Sites in the United States and especially in Texas.

There is even a clause declaring half of the state population to be Gay – because of an ungrammatical Oxford Comma, and a clause requiring all smart meters to be replaced by clockwork.

Smart Meters- The Republican Party of Texas supports a no-cost opt out for all Texas PUC customers and the phase out of Smart Meters aka Advanced Meter Infrastructure to be replaced with mechanical, non-transmitting analog meters when software upgrades are required or the computer smart meters require replacement due to mechanical failure or model upgrade requirements.

It opposes legalisation of pot but wants to allow for industrial production of Hemp.  Make that one out.

Quite the most bonkers manifesto ever published.

Death of the Sedgefield Principle Announced in Garden Cities Prospectus

In Locally Led Garden Cities, Towns and Villages

Planning Freedoms

We are interested in working with local authorities which have a good track record of housing delivery who are prepared to commit to delivery of housing over and above their objectively assessed housing need through the creation of new garden villages. 41. In exchange for guaranteed housing delivery, we will work with you to identify and deliver planning freedoms to support housing growth including, for example, ensuring that there is greater ability to resist speculative residential planning applications, and to continue protecting the Green Belt.

Why would you declare a Garden Settlement (oddly Garden Suburbs are excluded for no given reason) if it being inevitably enloaded you fail the Sedgefield approach on 5 year supply.  It would be like Turkeys voting for xmas.  The same problem is noted in the LPEG report.  This is the beginning of the end for Sedgefield for Plans with large sites – indeed why not include urban extensions?

Pro Garden Cities Bill to be Proposed in Queeens Speech?


Councils are set to receive greater powers to seize land and approve large-scale housebuilding as part of government plans to tackle Britain’s homes shortage and create a generation of garden towns.

The Conservatives are considering including legislation to grant the powers in next week’s Queen’s Speech, which will outline their programme for the coming parliamentary year.

George Osborne first outlined the planning reform in the small print of his Budget two months ago. Up to 100,000 homes could be created in a “new wave of garden towns and cities”, with “garden villages and market towns” in smaller areas, Budget documents said.

 At the time the chancellor pledged to “legislate to make it easier for local authorities to work together to create new garden towns”, promising them “planning and financial flexibilities”.

The Budget also proposed to beef up compulsory purchase powers, which enable councils and other government bodies to forcibly take control of land.

The government intended to “make the CPO process clearer, fairer and quicker”, the Budget documents said.

A consultation document published after the Budget proposed simplifying the rules on compensation for property owners whose land or building is subject to a compulsorily purchase order, expanding the CPO powers of transport bodies, and making it easier for bodies with such powers to temporarily requisition land or buildings.

Transport for London is set to be given power to finance infrastructure projects from increases in the value of land it owns, including land that had been compulsorily purchased, the Budget documents suggested. Selling valuable land off to developers could finance ambitious projects such as “fly-under” tunnels, Mr Osborne proposed.

The Tories face a tricky task to balance their pledge to build 1m homes by 2020 with a commitment to devolution. Many MPs and conservation campaigners feel it is too easy for developers to override local people’s wishes, which are set out in documents known as neighbourhood plans.

In an attempt to assuage those fears, Westminster is likely to seek to give local people a greater say in the planning of new towns and suburbs.

The move marks a shift in Conservative thinking: the Liberal Democrats championed plans for a new generation of garden cities in the previous coalition government but the Tories blocked it after running into grassroots opposition.

Brandon Lewis, the housing minister, declined to comment on whether a planning bill would be announced next week but said the government wanted to “speed up the local planning system” and “do more on neighbourhood planning”.

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this week Mr Lewis said he was looking at how to beef up local communities’ ability to influence the planning process, and committed to “ensure that neighbourhood plans enjoy the primacy that we intend them to have in planning law”.

Councils are concerned that government policy is not enabling them to deliver genuinely affordable housing

Kate Henderson, Town and Country Planning Association

A large majority of councils are unhappy with the planning regime, according to researchers. Nearly three-quarters of councils said it hinders the construction of affordable housing, while just 7 per cent said the government’s flagship policy of starter homes would help to address the housing shortage, the research by the Association for Public Service Excellence and the Town and Country Planning Association found.

Some 96 per cent of the 116 councils surveyed said there was a “moderate or severe” need for more affordable housing in their area.

Kate Henderson, TCPA chief executive, said the housing market was facing “a real crisis”.

“Councils are concerned that government policy is not enabling them to deliver genuinely affordable housing,” she said.

Shepway in 1 billion pound windfall as it buys Farm at Agricultural Value and then Proposes a Garden City

I welcome that Shepway Council has accepted my proposal from March of last year that around Sellinge in Kent was an excellent location for a Garden City

They state:

The leader of Shepway District Council, David Monk, has said that the council intends to bid for a garden town in the area surrounding Otterpool Manor Farm, which sits less than 10 miles to the west of Folkestone.  The likely value of the land with consent – over 1 billion pounds.

The council said in statement that it has developed a set of draft principles that, if approved by cabinet in June, will form a part of an expression of interest to the government this summer.

It added that Otterpool Park Garden Town could see up to 12,000 new homes being built over the next 30 years “within easy reach of nearby villages, towns and the countryside, but with its own businesses, schools and parks”.

Monk said: “Otterpool Park gives us an unmissable opportunity: it will deliver the homes and jobs we need, in a great setting that’s already well-connected.

“It would be difficult to find an area for development with more potential; it already has a motorway and other roads. There’s a train station – high speed trains are bringing new life to this area, just as the trains did for Folkestone all those years ago. Then there’s easy access to the rest of Europe via Eurotunnel.”

Shepway really grasp the principle of land value uplift as they bought it at agricultural value in January Folkestone Herald which must make the original farmer the stupidest man in Britain.

Shepway District Council has agreed to buy a 357 acre plot of land in Sellindge in a battle to be “self-sustaining.”

On Wednesday night, it was decided to proceed with the purchase of land at Otterpool Lane for a reported £5.2million as part of the authority’s new approach to finances.

The site will not be developed, as previous rumours suggested, but will be made available to rent.

An SDC spokesman said: “The council has a duty to secure its long-term financial future in the face of continuing reductions in grants from central government.

“In a planned move towards self-sustaining finances, we are constantly looking for revenue-earning opportunities that our consistent with our duties and responsibilities as a council.

“When the land at Otterpool Manor Farm became available, the council investigated if acquisition could be part of our plans to secure the long-term financial future of the council.

“The land is designated as agricultural land and will be tenanted and managed to give the council an income.”

It is a shame though that the principle that the uplift be used to fund services in the Garden City will instead be used to plug the black hole in Shepways finances.
Perhaps other authorities in dire straights might consider the other locations in my article.

Resolution Foundation – Shortage of Housing Equivalent of 10p on Tax


While in 1995 the average two-income household with one child spent 17 per cent of their income on housing costs, by 2015 that had risen to 21 per cent, according to the Resolution Foundation analysis. This equates to £1,500 a year or 10p on the basic rate, the think-tank estimates.

There are sharp regional and income variations. For lower and middle income households, the share of income spent on housing has increased from 18 per cent to 26 per cent over this period, whereas higher income households have seen a smaller rise from 14 per cent to 18 per cent.

Telegraph – Here are some Pictures of Land Not in Green Belt for You to Illustrate your Green Belt Stories With

Telegraph titling this picture

‘More housing on the green belt is planned in Hertfordshire’

The picture of the Malvern Hills in Herefordshore – not Green Belt

So lets help them out with some equally accurate pictures

Housing on The Green Belt is Planned in Oxfordshire

Housing on the Green Belt is Planned in Kent


Housing on the Green Belt is Planned in Bedfordshire


Housing on the Green Belt is Planned in Berkshire


The DCLG Press Office Cocks Up/Lies Again About Changing Green Belt

Quoted in Guardian

“Ministers have repeatedly been clear that demand for housing alone will not justify changing green belt boundaries,”

No No No – this is confusing allowing housing on appeal when there is the ‘very special circumstances’ test and the changing boundaries in plans – where there is the exceptional circumstances test’

Ministerial statements that ‘demand for housing alone’ is not reason for green belt release only applied to the former and not the latter.  Several statements are consolidated into NPPG here.

Someone brief the DCLG press office and shut them up – this is embarrassing.

DCLG Press Spokeperson lies about ‘No Plans or Policy’ to relax Green Belt Protections



A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said the government had “no plans or policy” to relax “the strong protections that prevent inappropriate development” on greenbelt land. The Tories’ planning policy means it is up to councils and local people where to build new housing.

Err what about this plan by the Chancellor announced in the Autumn statement and consulted on in Dec 2015 then to relax controls on previous developed land in Greenbelts removing the ‘predominantly open’ test.  Which would for example allow 100% of Garden Centres / Former research institutes, religious institutions, schools and hospitals, including there garden grounds, to be developed?

The DCLG must either correct its mistatement to the FT, or announce the weakening of Green Belt policy has been dropped.



How much in Legal Bills has been Spent on Working Out what Worst Ever Worded National Policy Means?

Para 49 NPPF

“relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites”.

What is the object of this sentence?  What was ‘for the supply of housing’ supposed to add to its meaning?  Did it add anything?  If it was supposed to mean anything why not rewrite it plain English not in strangulated grammer with a passive tense, uncertain object and double negative.