Labour proposes no reform of the #NPPF – whatever the DCMS select Committee Says

So now we know they ‘wouldnt change’ this  extremely poorly drafted counterproductive crock of shite.

The sector wants certainty but it doesn’t want idiocy, sprawl, lack of strategy or an appeal led planning vacuum.  Congratulations Hiliary Benn you have just abandoned any pretence to being a progressive environmental party.  Just keep whatever Ayn Rand inspired rubbish which led to the greatest drop in housebuilding in recorded history and has created war the countryside which really really cleverly abandoning strategic growth at the same time.  So Hiliarywhy should anyone vote Labour if they care about good planning?

Hiliary Benn has committed to not reform the NPPF even if the DCMS select committee finds that part of it need change and clarification because it is not working even on its most basic objectives of increasing planning and housebuilding.  Very clever, very clever indeed to throw away any political advantage or campaigning position you have.  Why not simply wear a vote Nigel Tee shirt Hiliary?

Labour has dropped plans to reform controversial planning rules which are allowing builders to push through new housing schemes across the country against the wishes of local people.

The news will dismay communities across England who are fighting housing schemes which are being allowed under the Coalition’s National Planning Policy Framework..

Last week the Telegraph disclosed how the number of large scale housing estates being pushed through by developers across England soared in the two years since the NPPF was introduced in March 2012.

The announcement, from shadow Local Government secretary Hillary Benn at a conference on Thursday morning, is an about-turn because the party had briefed last year that it would scrap the NPPF.

At a construction conference on Thursday morning Mr Benn said that a Labour Government would keep the NPPF in place.

He said: “No we wouldn’t change it because I think the sector wants some certainty and I think that is very important.”

Mr Benn said that instead Labour would focus on forcing developers to release land for new homes, rather than sitting on vast land banks.

In January Labour commissioned Sir Michael Lyons, a former chairman of the BBC Trust, to look at how a Labour Government could increase housing supply to 200,000 new homes a year by 2020.

Mr Benn said: “We would not change that basic structure but we are looking at through Sir Michael Lyons’ commission is how can we make sure that the sites are that are ‘permissioned’ are the ones where the building gets on and delivers.”

This has fuelled suggestions that Labour wants to embark on a huge house-building programme if it wins the 2015 general election.

The 52-page NPPF, which replaced more than 1,400 pages of guidance in England, was opposed by rural campaigners.

Under the NPPF, councils in England have to publish and adopt local plans which set out where development can take place for the next five years.

Speaking after the event, [and I guess a text telling him off from Roberta Blackman Wood Mp] Mr Benn added – while the NPPF would not be scrapped – the party was still committed to forcing more builders to use up more brownfield sites in towns and cities.

He said:: “We have always made it clear that there are some specific changes we want to make to the planning system to strengthen the brownfield policy – after all if there are brownfield sites that can be built upon that’s where as much housing as possible should go – and to ensure that all councils are making a proper assessment of housing need.

“And we would also give communities more power to make sure that where planning permission has been granted on a site the homes get built.”

 

Bolsover Fails Duty to Cooperate on Cross Border Strategic Site – Cooperation must mean more than Consultation

Here Inspectors conclusions

The concerns about the Duty to Co-operate centre on the former Coalite Chemical Works site (roughly 58 hectares) to the north-west of Bolsover which straddles the Council’s boundary and so partly lies in Bolsover (about 30 hectares) and partly in North East Derbyshire (approximately 28 hectares)…

This is a complicated brownfield site with viability and remediation concerns.
The present landowner has suggested that it requires comprehensive redevelopment (across both Districts) with up to 800 houses and nearly 95,000 square metres of commercial floorspace…

So far as the Duty on the Coalite site is concerned, I am not persuaded that the Local Plan Liaison Meetings were anything other than consultative and information sharing gatherings. The extracts of the various meeting notes (EX19f) are all written in that manner, and do not indicate any constructive,
active or on-going work to jointly and proactively plan for the Coalite site

PPG warns that effective co-operation “is unlikely to be met by an exchange of correspondence, conversations or consultations between authorities alone” (ID 9-011-20140306). The 2004 Act, the NPPF, and the PPG
use the term “co-operation” and not “consultation”. If the Duty had been merely to consult then the 2004 Act and subsequent Government policies would have said so. I have to test the outcomes of co-operation and not just whether the Council approached others

It does seem that after the failed attempt in 2010 to prepare an Area Action Plan that the Council focussed too much of its attention on the planning proposals and planning applications coming forward from the Coalite site
landowners, and put to one side, or forgot, the strategic plan-making requirements of the Duty which came into force at the end of 2011…

I have also carefully considered the judgement in Zurich Assurance Limited v Winchester City Council and the South Downs National Park Authority [2014] EWHC 758
(Admin) in EX13f, cited by the Council (particularly the sections it thought especially relevant), and also my colleague’s Report on the examination of the
Chesterfield Local Plan Core Strategy of June 2013 (EX19g). However, their circumstances are not the same as those here and they do not, in my view, form a precedent binding on this Duty issue which concerns a single strategic matter cross boundary site with a particular and unique history and sequence of
events.