Shall We Send Inspectors to Charm School after the Boles GB Letter?

An amusing anecdote has come my way of a briefing in Bradford that the result of this letter is that inspectors need to be more polite – and that the subsequent ‘clarification’ means nothing policy wise has changed (not of course the impression Chrispin Blunt MP and local politicians in R&B have got after meeting Boles and Anchorman).

No it wasnt because the inspector was rude or patronizing in his report – they seemingly only do that in section 78 hearings – I jest.  No Boles was concerned that the ‘words’ used implied that in order to comply with national policy they had to delete Green Belt – rather than proposing in themselves (after errr… complying with government policy).  The ‘words’ were simply pointing out the bleeding obvious.  It seems that the course inspectors need to be sent on is not charm school but the same school the foreign office sends diplomats on when being assigned to North Korea.

Boles Telling One thing to HBF and Pins, and Another to Reigate MP and Cllrs

So Mr Boles if government policy has not changed, as said in Pitt Letter 2 and at the HBF conference how can Christopher Blunt MP say the following?

Planning Resource

Meanwhile, Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, who has lobbied hard against the council’s green belt release in its local plan, yesterday revealed that he had had a “constructive meeting” with Boles at Westminster. Also present, according to Blunt, was England’s chief planner Steve Quartermain, and the chair of Reigate Council’s planning committee Mark Brunt.

In a statement, Blunt said: “The meeting with Nick Boles was extremely constructive, and I am now optimistic that green fields in the green belt, the so-called urban extensions, will not be made available for development.

“Following today’s meeting, I am confident these additional measures can be secured. I am pleased that I could link-up Mark and Nick for this discussion to take place, and it is now for councillors to progress.”

Either Government Policy has not changed, and R&B, BANES, York, Coventry etc. etc. exminations stand, or it does not and they stand in tatters.

The first tests will be in the coming weeks at the Ashfield and Bury EIPS.

Idf I was an inspector I would be writing to Anchorman asking

Can I recommend a strategic Green Belt Review if the LPA doesnt want one and does not meet OA need.

If I was the HBF I would be writing asking how, given the government defense at the recent Thundersely JR was that the NPPF provided ‘clear incentives’ to carry out plan/Green belt reviews what those incentives are now, even what incentives there are for Green Belt authorities to do local plans at all, if inspectors cannot recommend Green Belt reviews.

If I was the CPRE I would also be writing asking for the R&Bs, BANES etc.  what recourse is available to them if they would have preferred to keep Green Belt boundaries as they were were it not for inspectors recommendations.

It will only take a few weeks to unravel, Boles is either lying to either Crispin Bluent, or he is lying to the HBF.  The gambit of lying your way out of Green Belt travails wont last until the General Election.

What the Budget Said About Garden Cities and Planning

I missed the Budget today seemingly spending most of the day in the back of a car on the phone to the Netherlands about a project in Egypt, and 4 hours in a queue to be  being x rayed to ensure im not importing TB, don’t ask, but infinitely preferable to listening to Gideon’s nasel drone and him having planning policy turned through as many angles as the new 1 pound coin.

In the South East where the pressure is greatest we’re going to build new homes in Barking Riverside, regenerate Brent Cross, and build the first new Garden City in almost a hundred years at Ebbsfleet.

We’re going to build 15,000 homes there, put in the infrastructure, set up the development corporation and make it happen.

I thank my Honourable Friends for Dartford and Gravesham for their tremendous support. And we will be publishing a prospectus on the future of Garden Cities.

And in the Red Book.

2.26 Garden City prospectus – The government will publish a prospectus by Easter 2014
setting out how interested local authorities could develop their own, locally-led proposals for
bringing forward new garden cities.

take further action to boost housing supply by extending the Help to Buy: equity loan
scheme, creating a £500 million Builders Finance Fund to provide loans to SME housing
developers, and creating an Urban Development Corporation for a new garden city in
Ebbsfleet

And ‘sigh’ another stupid idea from Alex ‘half baked’ Morton gets thrown in.

1.142 For people who want to build their own home, the government will consult on creating a new ‘Right to Build’, giving custom builders a right to a plot from councils, and a £150 million repayable fund to help provide up to 10,000 serviced plots for custom build. The government will also look to make the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme available for custom build.

And

New garden city
1.145 The government will support a new Garden City at Ebbsfleet. Ebbsfleet has capacity for up to 15,000 new homes, based on existing brownfield land. To date, under 150 homes have been built on the largest site. The government will form a dedicated Urban Development Corporation for the area, in consultation with local MPs, councils and residents, to drive forward the creation of Ebbsfleet Garden City, and will make up to £200 million of infrastructure funding available to kick start development. This will represent the first new
garden city since Welwyn Garden City in 1920.
1.146 The government will also publish a prospectus by Easter 2014, setting out how local authorities could develop their own, locally-led proposals for bringing forward new garden cities.

Reform of the planning system
1.147 The government has taken decisive steps to improve and streamline the planning system. To support businesses and households further, the government will review the General Permitted Development Order. The refreshed approach is based on a three-tier system to decide the appropriate level of permission, using permitted development rights for small-scale changes, prior approval rights for development requiring consideration of specific issues, and planning permission for the largest scale development [Err isnt this the Dobry report type system I recommended on this blog a few months ago rather than the confusing hotch potch we have been heading towards] . As part of this, the government will consult on specific change of use measures, including greater flexibilities for change to residential use, for example from warehouses and light industry structures, and allowing businesses greater flexibilities to expand facilities such as car parks and loading bays within existing boundaries, where there is little impact on local communities.

Green Belt Reviews – PINs replies to Boles Confused – Boles Backtracks?

Confused you will be.  Further correspondence from the Boles Pitt Show now has its own webpage.  Perhaps Nick Boles will soon be posting one for his love letters next, or one of letters to his mum asking for more tuck.

Anyway the original letter is there, Pitts reply and Boles reply to the reply.  Boles original letter of the  3rd March could be read in several ways.  By concern over ‘use of language’ did he solely mean the slightly sharp tone (not the worst of crimes surely it is better for an inspector to be sharp and clear than obtuse and overly diplomatic, and this report on Green Belt Reviews being selective, limited and sustainable is far better than many as I have said here on this blog before).  Did the phrase ‘it must be transparently clear that [lpas] have chose that path (Green Belt reviews). ‘ Mean that  the issue was solely one of wording – the pretense that LPAs are choosing to delete Green Belt when of course they only normally choose to do so under duress of an adverse finding of soundness.  The issue is made worse by the fourth para. indicating that the SOS could use powers of intervention where ‘a planning inspector has recommended a green belt review that is not supported by a local planning authority’, mean that where an LPA falls short of housing need and cannot persuade others to take it that the inspector cannot then say the plan would be unsound without considering the potential of Green Belt sites.   Must they then simply rubber stamp the plan and push the overspill out, which the NPPF says might not be the most sustainable option?

The confusion, of Boles saying, like the NPPF, 2 different and not reconciled things at once is evidenced in Bole’s reply to Pitt.

Pitt says, in his 6th March Letter,  he understands, likely from a meeting, that the wording is the concern, seeming to instruct the LPA to delete Green Belt.  So rather than saying you must delete it, it would be ok then to say, aha you have chosen to delete Green Belt good o.  Pitt rightly asks the questions asked by his inspector’s

after reading your letter Inspectors now ·seek confirmation that in local plan examinations they should continue to question local planning authorities to determine the extent to which they have followed guidance in paragraphs 14 and 83-85 of the Framework when seeking to meet the needs of their area including objectively assessed housing needs in accordance with paragraph 47 of the Framework.

The ‘have we been getting it wrong all the time, or have you changed policy’ question.

Bole’s replies in a letter of the 13th March.

As you rightly note, my letter of 3 March set out concerns over the Inspector’s use of language which invited misinterpretation of Government policy.  It did not signal a change of policy or approach.  Inspectors in Local Plan examinations should continue to determine whether local planning authorities have followed the National Planning Policy Framework in seeking to meet the objectively assessed development needs of their area.

The problem is the 3rd of March letter logically and forensically says two things.  Firstly it criticises the inspector for letter the cat out of the bag about the true origins of Green Belt reviews and deletions – the government.  Implying say i’m making you review, and of course I am making you review because of government policy, but I cannot say im making you review because of government policy.   Even if logically it can only be Professor Plum in the library in the envelope Professor Plum is now claiming he was holiday in Benidorm and his butler did it.

The second thing the 3rd of March letter did is criticise inspectors for recommending Green Belt reviews (not deletions simply reviews) not chosen by LPAs.  Now this is confusing because it implies that where a plan falls short an inspector cannot then recommend a GB review.  They might be able to say something jesuitical like ‘the evidence before be shows that the LPA has a shortfall of housing land…blah blah blah.. and has not explored all the options available…therefore the LPA has not met the requirements of the NPPF and I am not yet in a position to find the plan sound.’  The LPa asks – does that mean a GB review, to which the inspector says ‘that is your choice, as clarified by the Planning minister’ so the plan just lies there not sound until the LPA ‘chooses’ to undertake one.

There are three interpretations of the outright contradiction between the 3rd March and 30th March letters.  The first is as above, Boles whilst seeming to protect the Green Belt is solely hiding the strings pulling PINS, the para immediately above theory.  The second is the cock up theory.  Boles didn’t mean to say he would intervene on Green Belt Reviews (reviews are just studies) but on the outcome of reviews i.e. Green Belt deletions.  The letter of the 3rd reads like it was dictated to a secretary without much thought, perhaps Boles did not understand the difference between a GB review and plan changes arising from that review.  The third possibility and the most intriguing, it is a carefully planned cock up where this and even the infamous missing comma in gold guidance, and the confusion between exceptional circumstances test and the very special circumstances test, is a expertly crafted plot by planning lawyer and MP Bob Neil to calculatedly delay all Green Belt deletions in the courts for a year to get past the next election.  Perhaps a plot cooked up over a single malt with Gideon in his office.  Planning lawyers and officers, let alone Cllrs, will be scratching their heads now as to what to do with GB reviews on a Juggernaut path. Masterstroke or clusterfuck, you decide.

Note:  Boles does not answer Pitts question directly about whether inspectors should test plans against paras 83-85 of the NPPF on Green Belt.

Ebbsfleet is a Good Housing Site, But not Net, New or Garden City

How can Osborne announce as ‘new’ anything which is already in the local plan, has been around for years, was in the South East Plan and has planning consent.  Osborne might as well announce Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who.  A good site, a good housing site, but doesn’t mop up one extra housing unit displaced by Bole’s Green Belt/Regional planning chaos. In 24hrs sources close to Gideon have gone from no site yet chosen, to a site in MKSM to Ebbsfleet (presumably as the SEA judicable options as it is announcing nothing apart from the UDC, aimportant as delivery and ibvestment here is the issue, probably because it classifies as a ‘urban’ site so can be designated under the 1980 Planning and Land Act rather than the New Towns Act (Which would require primary legislation to bring it up to date).

)/  Telegraph

Britain’s first new garden city in 100 years is to be built in Ebbsfleet in Kent, George Osborne has announced.

The Chancellor announced plans to “build for Britain” by creating the new city with 15,000 homes on the Thames Estuary.The new settlement will be modelled on popular garden cities built at the beginning of the last century including Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.

Mr Osborne also announced that the government will extend the Help-to-Buy scheme for newly built houses until 2020, which will lead to 120,00 new homes.

Mr Osborne said: “If you look at Letchworth, Welwyn Garden City, Milton Keynes – our predecessors had the ambition to build for Britain. I want to extend the Help-to-Buy scheme for newly built houses.

“We are also for the first time in 100 years going to build a garden city in Ebbsfleet in the Thames Estuary. This means more homes, this means more aspiration for families. Britain has got to get building.”

It already has a station on the high-speed rail line from London to continental Europe (PA)

As first disclosed in The Telegraph on Saturday, the government will set up an urban development corporation of private and public companies to help build the city.

However, to date, progress towards building a new settlement in Ebbsfleet has been slow. The first planning application was made in 2003 but just 150 homes have been built.

Mr Osborne praised Ebbsfleet’s potential. He said: “Ebbsfleet there is the land available, there is fantastic infrastructure with a high speed line, it’s on the river, it’s in the South East of England where a lot of the housing pressure has been.

“You’ve got local communities and MPs who support the idea. We are going to create an urban development corporation. There are alreadysome home being built on the site, but on a much, much smaller scale.”

A Treasury spokesman said: ” The area has long been identified as having great development potential, but investment and progress have been stalled for decades.

“[That] is why the government wants to create a powerful new body – similar to what happened in Docklands in the 1980s – to really drive and promote the area, coordinate investment from government and solve the issues that have held back development.”

Budget to Give Green Light to Garden Citie(s)? – in MKSM – The Wolfson Prize Winner?

Now we know where the overspill from The Green Belt u turn will go – but Garden Cities, though helpful, are a long term solution, Boles has created a short term crisis.

FT

The government [in the Budget] …is expected to revive a plan for new conurbations in the south east. David Cameron, prime minister, had previously said he backed the concept but went cold on the idea after ministers warned of a public backlash in Tory constituencies. Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, is understood to have won a deal that will see the plan resurrected – although the location of the new towns may not be clarified.

As long as they are not Gerrards Cross and Yalding.  Since when was Letchworth a ‘conurbation’?

DT

George Osborne will announce plans to build the first new garden city in Britain for 40 years in his Budget next week, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

The Chancellor will say that the government wants to build a new settlement with tens of thousands of homes to help solve the housing crisis.

Ministers were yesterday still locked in talks about the potential location of the city, with Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire believed to be under consideration.

The announcement in the Budget on Wednesday is likely to trigger a Coalition row, with the Tories and the Liberal Democrats trying to take credit for the policy.

Earlier this year Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said David Cameron had to be “upfront and honest” and publish a secret Whitehall “prospectus” into garden cities.

However, the Tories have come under growing pressure to fulfil a pledge made by Mr Cameron in 2012 to “apply the principles of garden cities” to new settlements.

A source close to Mr Osborne said: “The announcement will be for a real plan for a real place rather than a vague booklet of ideas, which is what Nick Clegg has been pushing for with his prospectus. This is the Chancellor’s pet scheme.”

So are civil servants rushing to identify a real place in thew few days before the Budget?  Remeber the Wolfson prize deadline was the 3rd of March . so the judges and civil servants have had two weeks to assess entries (I and many others were simply too busy to submit entries). Of course nop SEA and no consultation – have theyt learned nothing from the Ecotowns fiasco?  You really couldn’t make it up.

If you are going to do it here do it big and link it to HS2.  Possible if trains are very lightweight on the Japenese model and can accellerate/stop quicikly and if accesslerating/decceratling lines in key sections.  The trouble is the best locations within the current HS2 alignment, such as providing a Warwick/Coventry Parkway, are in the Green Belt, (see previous Arden City posts) which somewhat defeats the political purpose.  Sites further south would require major new road infrastructure as they are m,ostly in the middle of nowhere – though of provided a site somewhere in the Brackly area, where it would cross the planned POxford/Cambridge rail link, would be attractive, especially as these would link s a high tech growth node.  Do I win the 250,000?

 

Boles Green Belt U-Turn – Could Reigate and Bansted simply Withdraw their Local Plan on 10th April ?

Steve Quartermain Announces the Planning News of the Year – Exclusive to Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

We picked up the planning story of the year , and biggest planning policy U turn since Patrick Jenkin — Boles pitting a halt to strategic Green Belt reviews following pressure from Chrispen Blunt MP – a week late because I was so busy (in UAE) that I did not pick up my emails tipping me off.  Even then Planning in its usual way did not publish the story until after we did!

I apologise for not giving this story the attention and analysis it deserves, the background, the politics, the history, whether or not the entire planning inspectorate has been getting it wrong (no), if it has what it says about the clarity and coherence of the NPPF (if it is so easy for the wjole of PINS to ‘misinterpret’, sorry get right and then ministers paniced, what does it say?),  whether it is a U turn (yes), whether the implications of the NPPF that without growth being diverted to growth areas major growth would have to be taken in the metropolitan Green Belt was a policy that could be politically sustained (no as we have said for three years). whether or not some Green Belt reviews in suitable and sustainable locations like Reigate is still necessary (yes) and now with the Duty to Cooperate recast as the Political Duty to Obstruct in Green Belt areas, does the government now plan to meet housing need in full the main policy of the NPPF  (no, its a Gideon political calculation, they cant anyway before the next election – so they can score some points on the ‘duty to expand’ and reverse the policy after the election and/or announce a slew of Garden Cities to take the displaced need).

So what will R&B do – they are due to adopt on the 10th April.  Under the regs they have little alternative.  What they might do is what Coventry (ridiculously and subsequently indefensibly) did a couple of years ago and adopt and then withdraw the plan by another motion at the same meeting (how Alice in Wonderland planning has become under the Con-Dems).

They may find themselves injuncted on = the principle has been set on pre-meeting injunctions in Basingstoke and Deane.

Straight forward following the Cala Homes decision on the SEP.  Withdrawing a plan has the same SEA implications as adopting one.  Under the DTC and the NPPF that housing need will be displaced to adjoining LPAs, and if they are mainly Green Belt LPAs too to the next tier out.  So to where – eerrr Mid Sussex which is now supposed to take everyone’s overspill need.   They and there local MP will now surely enact their revenge on Boles and Gideon.   Similar cases in the past have not been JRd, but that was before the DTC, before the NPPF, and before the gold guidance makes clear a draft plan is a material consideration and therefore falls under the SEA directive in terms of guiding ‘development consents’. The defense would be that the inspector has already seen the environment report and it has been consulted on.  The problem of course is that related and backs up the plan R&B no longer wish to defend.  At the very least they would have to give very clear reasons why they are rejecting the findings of their own environmental report.  Other authorities and developers will argue this is effectively issues a new environmental report and that they have a duty to consult on it. R&B are between a rock and a hard place here, the more they justify the decision in common law terms the easier it becomes to challenge in European law terms. Messy.  In may ways R&B being about to adopt was the worst possible case for Boles to stake a stand on.  Bath, York etc. etc. could withdraw their submitted plans too but again it could be argued that this has Cala implications.

As ever it is unclear if DCLG thought this through and took legal advice.  Probably.  The pressure was on at the Westminster Hall debates two months ago which would have made the PM sit up and take notice.  The Reigate adoption would have set a deadline and about that time to think through the implications.  Have DCLG war-gamed the potential outcomes, no they are not very good at that.   The fingerprints are there notably in the gold guidance using the same language used by the judge in the Hunstan case.  My guess too is that the advice would have been that this is a high risk strategy and ministers didnt care – as , cynically, as lomg as they could blame judges, labour, pins, their own officials, anyone but themselves.

The Result of The Housing Standards Review

DCLG Note = seems sensible and at last an end to hobbit homes – but the devil is in the detail.

Building Regulations

This note supports the Written Ministerial Statement made by the Minister for Communities
on 13th March 2014. It sets out how each of the themes covered in the Housing Standards
Review consultation are to be taken forward.

Access

Minimum access standards in Part M (Access to and use of buildings) will be retained. In
addition, an optional level of accessibility will be introduced in Part M which will set out
criteria for age friendly, accessible and adaptable housing. We will also set out within Part M
an optional standard which will set out criteria setting out the specific needs of wheelchair
adaptable and accessible housing.

These optional levels would not be universally mandatory, but local authorities will be able to
adopt them to meet local needs, according to local circumstances or individual needs, and
subject to viability testing.

Security

The Government recognises the value of of a single minimum security standard for new
homes, based on industry’s best practice. The Government is considering the evidence on
whether such a standard should be applied to all new homes, as a Building Regulation applied
nationally or whether it would be more proportionate if applied on a local basis.
.
Water

We propose to introduce a new, tighter level of water efficiency into the Building
Regulations, to be set at 110 litres/person/day (lpd). This would be an optional higher level in
addition to the current level of 125 lpd which could only be applied in areas with specific
local needs (such as water stress). This would be chosen by the local authority. Government
is considering the best way to define areas of water stress to ensure this works in practice.

Energy

We propose a “Building Regulations only” approach, with no optional additional local
standards in excess of the provisions set out in Part L of the Regulations.

In Budget 2013 the Government reaffirmed its commitment to implement the zero carbon
homes policy for new homes from 2016. This will be achieved through a strengthening of the
energy performance requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations (incorporating carbon
compliance, energy efficient fabric and services), and the delivery of allowable solutions.

Space

We believe that it is right that local communities and neighbourhoods have the ability to
shape the nature of new development in their local areas. However, a proliferation of
localised and varying space standards creates a potentially significant barrier to delivery of

housing. We will therefore develop a new national standard – not a Building Regulation –
which will offer a consistent set of requirements with regard to the internal area of new
homes. This will have two different sets of specifications, based on a consolidation of
existing space standards used by authorities across the country. Application of the standard
will be optional for local authorities to use and they will need to justify its application
according to evidenced needs and subject to local plan viability testing. This will help to
balance the needs of local communities whilst ensuring that the home building industry can
deliver at volume in a cost effective manner.

Other Standards

Government considered a range of other issues in the Housing Standards Review
consultation. The Government is not taking forward any work on these matters during this
Parliament.

Boles Puts a Grinding Halt to Strategic Green Belt Reviews – what a slimy coward to blame PINS

Was determined NOT to blog this week as depsperately busy on major projects – however this letter from Nick Boles is plum – putting a grinding halt to Green Belt reviews (at least until the next election) and making it clear what the vague Golkd Guidance on this mean (Green Belt – for the first time in its long history) is to be considered an absolute enviromental (not policy) constraint.

First the letter

 

Sir Michael Pitt
Chief Executive
Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
Temple Quay
Bristol
BS1 6PN

Dear Sir Michael Pitt,
Inspectors’ Reports on Local Plans
I was very troubled by the media coverage of the recent Inspector’s report on the examination into the Reigate and Banstead Local Plan. On reading the report, I was disturbed by the Inspector’s use of language, which invited misinterpretation of government policy and misunderstanding about the local authority’s role in drawing up all of the policies in the draft plan. I am writing to restate very clearly the Government’s view of Green Belt policy and Local Plan examinations.

[Comment : why now there have been dozens of similar use of language for months – is this the first such report Noles has read.  Is he so outy opf touch?  The only potentila explantion is that they now see political capital on labours ‘right to expand’ and / or following two Westminster Hall debates the goverbnment, until now firmly relaxed about Green Belty reviews and is doing a screeching U turn to avoid the issue flaring up until the next election.0
Fundamental to the National Planning Policy Framework and to this Government’s planning reforms is the idea that local authorities, and the communities who elect them, are in charge of planning for their own areas.

[Comment:  Proving they meet National policy of course includfing Green Belt needing to be reviewed and meeting housing need ‘in full’ including overspill need].

That is why we abolished the top down regional strategies, why we have emphasised the primacy of the Local Plan and why we gave communities the powers to create neighbourhood plans.
Alongside these reforms we were always very clear that we would maintain key protections for the countryside and, in particular, for the Green Belt. The National Planning Policy Framework met this commitment in full. The Framework makes clear that a Green Belt boundary may be altered only in exceptional circumstances and reiterates the importance and permanence of the Green Belt. The special role of Green Belt is also recognised in the framing of the presumption in favour of sustainable development, which sets out that authorities should meet objectively assessed needs unless specific policies in the Framework indicate development should be restricted.

[Comment this si wroimng in law and Boles knows it – 30 years of case law spell out teh difference between the DC test ‘very special’ and teh plan test ‘exceptioonal’ inclduing several cases that have held that a plan review ‘alone’ meets the exceptional test.  teh NPPF wording, not changing the copre presumptions tests (onl;y the definitions of approprioate uses etc.) Has not changed one comma really (apart from the clumsy issue of outdoor sport /cemeraries etc.- see the Gedling case today.]

Crucially, Green Belt is identified as one such policy.
It has always been the case that a local authority could adjust a Green Belt boundary through a review of the Local Plan.It must however always be transparently clear that it is the local authority itself which has chosen that path – and it is important that this is reflected in the drafting of Inspectors’ reports.

[Comment – total horseshite- what complete hypocracy after letting so many green belt reviews through in the alst two tears.  Where does it say in teh NPPF that Green Belt reviews must be solely the choice of a single LPA? where – show me the line – Show me the paragraph.  How is this new policy – rewriting and adding to the NPPF on the fly, compatible with both teh DTC and the para of teh NPPF about meeting housing need in full, reviewing Green Belt, choosing the ‘best possible plan…reasonable alternatives’ minisming travel and maininging green belt purposes, the bestt landsccapes etc.  How Where? ]

The Secretary of State will consider exercising his statutory powers of intervention in Local Plans before they are adopted where a planning inspector has recommended a Green Belt review that is not supported by the local planning authority. I would be grateful if you could circulate a copy of this letter to all Inspectors and ensure that they understand the need to choose their words carefully and reflect government policy very clearly in all future reports. I am also placing a copy of this letter in the public domain.

Nick Boles MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Planning)

[Comment – so the Minister is a coward – getting inspectors to follow national policy and critically examine Green Belt – so Osborne got his way without nationally having to intervene directly to dedesignate Green Belt – as Boy George wanted.  Now having seen the predicable consequences of a non transparent policy – though in some regards a necessary one as in many areas Green Belts were meant for a structure plan 20-30 years horizon and plans are now well well out of date with big backlogs and persistent need. ]

Department for Communities and Local
Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU

Tel: 0303 444 3459
Fax: 020 7821 0635
E-Mail: nick.boles@communities.gsi.gov.uk

http://www.gov.uk/dclg

3 March 2014

So what happens now.  Chaos.  Areas resulctantly carrying out reviews like Reigate, York etc. will stop, withdraw plans (sign haven’t we waited 30 years already).  As the ‘vopuntarist’ Green Belt policy is new policy not subject to public consultation and a interpretation that is wendesbury unreasonable of teh NPPF there will be JRS galore, more masaratis in Lincolns Inn/  For those authorities that have inspectors reports and are about to adopt all they cal do now is withdraw the plan, and the SoS no longer has to approve it.  This will in itself lead to JRS.  As for inspectors,, dont expect them to blindly and mechanically interpret teh NPPF in future, they now have a new public enemy number one. Its all about denainability.  Like the MI6 officer tasked to assassinate someone abroad, of course if you get cuaght the Prime Minster who ordered the hot will criticise you publicly.

How to Cure Nick Bole’s Hyperactivity

Given the news that DCLG Minister Steven Williams has described Nick Boles as ‘hyperactive’ and ‘hated’ by Tory Mps I fear that poor ‘Bungalow’ Bob Kerslake and Steve ’70s porn star’ Quartermain may need some advice on how to cope with hyperactive boys.  No better advice than from the Daily Mail agony aunt.

The problem is that the term ‘hyperactivity’ is often used to describe excitable, naughty, restless or over-exuberant children. Needless to say, these are usually perfectly normal boys, whose behaviour and inattention come to light when challenged by the regime of  school [government] discipline and often overcrowded classrooms [offices at Eland House] …

you and his school [department] can try the following:

1. Have realistic expectations – avoid situations which may be impossible to cope with eg long assemblies or church services [meetings], protracted meals, double sedentary lessons.

2. Try not to criticise or make negative comments – your son’s self-esteem will suffer if there is a constant stream of adult complaints about him.

3. Encourage and praise him if he works at solitary activities which involve sitting still eg Lego, jigsaws, reading, homework, computer work [writing Policy Exchange Speeches]..

4. Build on your son’s relationships with yourself and others by sharing activities with him and by encouraging him in team sports [such as defending Micheal Gove or undermining Teresa May].

5. Try to identify what are the main distractions in his environment both at home and at school [work] in the hope of removing them.