Serving’a section 215 After a New Paint Job?

A very dubious use of a S215 notice by K&C after a new paint job on house house – the Beach Hit paint job.  Not a LB or A4D so development but permitted development.  Obviously a case of political pressure to ‘find a way’. The courts in In Berg v Salford City Council have held that a notice can cover improvements and not just ‘poor condition and maintenance thereof’. This to my mind is excessive interference in property rights.  Lets say someone was refused planning permission and painted on the front of their house, ‘Councillor Sloe go to hell’, now imagine a section 215 notice coming in.  It does raise the point of the fine line between section notices on condition and deemed advert consent.

UKIPS Presumption Against Sustainable Development

Of all of this elections mammoth manifestos UKIP’s is at once the best designed and written and the most ludicrous and impractical.

Introducing a ‘presumption in favour of conservation’ as opposed to the current ‘presumption in favour of development’ in planning legislation.

The term ‘sustainable development’ doesnt appear once, presumably they have a tea party like dislike of the term?   So the UKIP presumption would lead to refusal development that is not conservation even when it is sustainable.

It is unclear if the manifesto would ban all loss of countryside, loss of ‘prime’ (current national policy anyway) or only ‘excessive’ development in the countryside.

They would let every LPA set its own targets which we know from recent experience leads to an undershoot of around 150,000 completions a year.

They say they would build 1 million brownfield by 2025, 300,000 – 150,000 = 1.5 million so we can assume thats 1 million on brownfield and 1/2 million on greenfield leaving a supply gap of 1.5 million homes by 2025.

Aha but that assumes 250,000 a year HH growth +50,000 backlog.  UKIP would say the numbers would be reduced by reducing immigration.   UKIP dont actually set an immigation target so it is  difficult to know if the 1.5 million gap in their numbers could be reduced by less immigration.  However banning unskilled labourers is going to have a negligible impact on household formation by itself.

Around 60% of the projected population increase is due to migration (directly and indirectly) and population increase contributes to around 98% of household formation – but only because people can no longer afford to form homes so they cram into the existing stock.  Sp even if we had a zero net in migration from day one – not I stress UKIP policy – then HH formation would shrink from 250,000 to 100,000 +50,000 backlog (UKIP dont support repatriation) =150,000 a year.  So if UKIP banned all immigration from day one their numbers would add up, but they dont because they would allow skilled in migrants.  So even if they reduced immigration by 50% they would face a 750,000 gap in their numbers till 2025.

Every Major Party Manifesto Promotes Garden Cities But Not the Shift in Policy to Deliver Them

This years election is the first since the 1970s to see all three Major Parties promoting Garden Cities as part of the answer to the housing crisis, quite a move. The first ever I think for all three to mention Garden Cities specifically as opposed to just New Towns.  Quite a shift in the political consensus.

The Conservative manifesto says it will support ‘locally led’ Garden Cities.

The Labour Manfesto says it will implement the Lyons Review – without providing a Hyperlink – bad form – which backs ‘– A new generation of Garden Cities and Garden Suburbs’  who will implment them ‘  location specific Garden City Development Corporations’  who will decide where they will go? Correctly learning the lessons of the Ecotowns programme it states that a bidding approach will not deliver them in the right locations.  Rather it proposes ‘A locally led approach’ da dah (page 95) – but with an ‘active role’ for central government is publishing areas of search.  The Lyons proposals for improving sub-regional planning would in effect require areas around major cities to search out areas of overspill.

The Liberals launched today states

The Liberal Democrats plan at least 10 new garden cities to be created in England building 300,000 new homes a year.

The Lib Dems said the new garden cities would be built in areas where there is local support, providing tens of thousands of new homes.

The direct commissioning of homes by government agencies is already being trialed at a former RAF base in Cambridgeshire and is seen as a way of boosting construction when the market alone fails to deliver sufficient numbers.

So all three support ‘locally led/supported’ Garden Cities.

But national policy has supported this anyway since the now Lord Denham was Environment Secretary – when national policy backed ‘locally supported New Settlements’.  So in the last 30 years when providing you ticked all the policy boxes.  In those 30 years we have had





-Dickens Heath

-Bicester (more an expanded town)




Add up all of the housing built in these locations (Bicetser Post Garden City announcement) over the last 30 years, it probably comes to less than 5,000, almost entirely at Cambourne and Dickens Heath. In other words we have tested and tried and a ‘locally led’ Garden Cities policy and it has delivered less than a 10th of 1% of  household formation over the last 15 years.

Many of these were soft pickings, big brownfield sites airbases and so on, or here the LPAS proposed a counterproposa to avoid an imposed Ecotowns, as at Bicester and Rackheath.  How does anyone expect a continuation of ‘locally led’ to deliver any more than this over the next 15 years?

I am not saying ‘locally led’ Garden Cities are a contradiction, clearly they are desirable and in a few as rare as hens teeth almost locations they are happening.  But not happening enough or anywhere near large enough.

Whatever the fallacies and distortions in Ken Shuttleworth’s misconceived criticisms of Garden Cities he got one thing right.  If you build Garden Cities of 30,000 population it would take 67 of them to meet London’s spill.  That sint going to be locally led and supported.  So where will the spill go?  Sustainable Garden Cities will be much larger and rail connected, how will a new Garden City of 300,000-400,000 be locally led and supported?

Lets get real – if we want to get Garden Cities on the scale we need to be something other an curiosities they need to be nationally backed, have the best locations determined in larger than local plans, be ideally locally supported and be delivered by partnership development corporations.  This requires a spectrum approach across multiple tiers and between the private and public sectors, not one resting at one level only without dedicated delivery mechanisms.  We’ve tried that doesn’t work, doesnt pass the Acid Test of building enough homes.  We now have a consensus we need Garden Cities, so lets move the debate on to how we get them delivered in sufficient scale and to adequate standards.



Conservative Manifesto – Pledge to End Appeals on Windfarms?

Both manifestos support Garden Cities and brownfield development, really nothing new in either, apart from the Conservative Right to Buy HA policy (which to my mind fails to add up for all sports of reasons – i’d like to see the CBA – and the sensitivity of the CBR to the interest rate given the time  lag between sale of housing and new build during which additional HB needs paying out because of the inability to relet) but one thing was strikingly new

Onshore windfarms often fail to win public support, however, and are unable by themselves to provide the firm capacity that a stable energy system requires. As a result, we will end any new public subsidy for them and change the law so that local people have the final say on windfarm applications.

What can they mean?  Ending the major infrastructure regime for large farms will not mean locals have the final  say so they can appeal, so does it mean ending appeals altogether? Why for this only and not other forms of development.  Ending appeals will simply mean every case in the courts and clog the whole system up.  I think it perhaps is just badly drafted in a day of badly drafted manifestos.

Anyway I found today on site studying Istanbul’s South American style BRT system (the first in Europe) vastly more interesting, flawed though the design of the system is.