Yesterday’s local elections, being primarily at county level, will change few areas if any in terms of balance of power. UKIP still dont empty a single dutbin, or publish a single local plan. Next year could be different.
But looking at the UKIP local elections manifesto what if they did control an LPA, or even national planning policy.
The manifesto weighs in against saloon bar topics, anti-wind, pro-green belt, pro-localism, equally important it proposes local referenda on controversial issues like local planning and a no whipping rule for local cllrs.
Consider first the prospect of local control by UKIP of a plan making authority. The likelihood of local referenda would make it unlikely that any authority would vote for significant green field release as many of those moving into new homes would be from outside the LPA, even if they lived in the same housing market area. Many of those wishing for form a household or even to downsize to smaller accommodation would not get a vote. Unsoundness, pah, the UKIP policy would be deliberate confrontationalism The prospect of losing appeals, the ‘stick’ the NPPF is based on, would not work. The theory behind open source planning was a basic respect for the rule of law in conservative middle england, but that respect has been breaking down across the neo-liberal world, witness the rise of the Tea Party and how many conservative MPS would flout eh european convention on human rights. Loyalty to the politics of place, the politics of blood and soil, are trumping the loyalty to rule of law. So we would be likely to see in such a UKIP ruled local world a deliberate flouting of the seeking of sound plans and a collapse in housing numbers. It would be the politics of the aged with homes and with mortgages paid off protecting their equity against all assaults by the young that don’t own their own homes. Indeed just as the modern conservative party was seen by Peel as an alliance of the landed and business classes under Cameron and Farage these have split into separate parties each representating their own class, business and house owners. Neo-cons and paleo-cons.
Undoubtedly in such a world housebuilding would collapse as it would be difficult to get any large scheme through a referenda, brownfield sites would be just as controversial so we would see a rise in house prices which would only see the rise in resistance of the houseowning classes to more housebuilding, as they cash in. Nor would we see increased redevelopment of existing plot or higher densities. The risks of another property bubble would be very high.