The box office success of the year has clearly been butchered by Disney from its original vision by Disney Executives. One day we might see a directors cut.
Sadly not for the housing white paper. Having disappeared and delayed over Christmas after entering the Number 10 Death Star it has been butchered and watered down by Nick ‘Kylo’ Timothy
Nick ‘Kylo’ Timothy
Captain Phasma Hill
and Captain Phasma Hill.
Javid promised a ‘once and for all’ solution to the housing crisis. This means tacking the huge gap caused by cities such as London, Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol not being able to fully meet housing needs within their boundaries. 2 million for London alone.
However stung by the botched planning reforms of the NPPF May and her Sith Aides are worried about a reaction of Boles like proportions to a ‘war on the countryside’ so the white paper has been watered down. What they miss is that Boles barely introduced new policy- he simply pointed out the consequences of ‘build what you like where you like’ policy on 1,000s of villages.
The only solution is to build big – such as Garden Cities. Garden Villages help but cumulatively 14 Garden Villages add up to less than One large Garden City.
So whats the evidence for the gutting of the white paper
The delay till Jan
The Keenness of Javid in speeches to get as much out as he can – such as in the Brum Green Belt decision
The reporting today of a concern of a ‘war on the countryside’
So ‘local opposition’ i.e. Nimbyism is the guiding force is it.
This seems to be pure Mayism spite to kill off programmes, like Ebbsfleet Garden City pushed by Osborne. This is ridiculous and unfair as the programme though under-performing was locally led and supported and in 2017 will deliver over 600 units higher than anywhere in the UK. Had it been set up as a proper Garden City from the outset with public land ownership and land capture it would have sailed from the outset.
So the Sith forces have ganged up on Trekkie Javid and Tolkein Nerd Barwell, producing a white paper that will simply kick the problems into the long grass another 5 years.
This Telegraph Story echoing briefing to the Guardian shows two things
Ebbsfleet has been seen as an Osborne failure – and hence and all Garden Cities to be stopped. It is no coincidence both the Guardian and Telegraph state ‘experts warn it has been quietly scrapped’ for expert read dumb SPAD. In fact despite a slow start it will this year deliver more housing than anywhere else in the country and was supported not opposed by local communities, the intervention by Osborne coming after years of failure due to it not implementing the Garden City principle of the development land being owned by the community.
May in delaying the Housing White paper is wary of a ‘war on the countryside hence likely no garden cities above scale of garden towns announced and likely no major Green Belt reviews
As these Garden Cities and Villages are mostly already in draft local plans they wont do a lot to close the allocations gap. we need tentimes more than this just to meet the needs of London and South East.
New “garden” towns and villages will be built across England in an attempt to alleviate the housing crisis, the Government will announce on Monday.
The plans will deliver 14 new villages of between 1,500 to 10,000 homes to be built outside existing settlements.
A further three towns of more than 10,000 houses each will be built alongside Aylesbury, Taunton and Harlow and Gilston.
Theresa May’s first announcement of 2017 suggests her Government will make housing one of its main priorities in the year ahead.
The last Conservative government was regularly criticised for failing to build more homes. The ambitious new plans have won support from campaign groups despite earlier concerns that garden cities would lead to urban sprawl and put added pressure on infrastructure.
Announcing the scheme, the housing minister said the villages will create almost 50,000 new homes from Cheshire down to Devon, while the towns will take the total to 200,000 new homes.
Gavin Barwell said: “Locally-led garden towns and villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need. New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies.”
Campaign groups had previously warned against garden town developments because of concerns that local councils planned to build on green-belt land.
Last year the Government curbed its plans for garden cities after a project in Ebbsfleet stalled following opposition from local communities.
The Government has also been wary of any plans which could be termed a “war on the countryside”, a charge which was repeatedly levelled at the Tories during their years in coalition.
The schemes announced today will include some development of green spaces, but Shaun Spiers, the chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), broadly welcomed the new plan.
He said: “Done well, with genuine local consent, garden villages and towns can help tackle the housing crisis. They can be preferable to what is currently happening in too many parts of the country – poor quality developments plonked on the countryside, in the teeth of local opposition and in defiance of good planning principles.
“Some of these proposals may meet these criteria, but others are greatly opposed by local people. We will look closely at these specific proposals to ensure that they really are locally led, that they respect the Green Belt and other planning designations, and that they meet real local housing need.
“Communities are under pressure from over-ambitious, centrally dictated housing targets, so where they do support new settlements they should be protected from speculative planning applications for a long time to come.”
Garden cities were the brainchild of Ebenezer Howard in 1898, intended as an alternative to industrial slums with green space and community at their heart. Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City were the first examples.
The Government has announced seven garden towns and cities to date but the 14 new villages are the first of a new kind of development designed to alleviate concerns about large-scale schemes swamping existing towns.
Some of the planned developments announced today will turn smaller hamlets into larger communities, while others will expand existing towns on nearby land.
The plans are expected to create a series of new communities with green spaces, good transport links and high-quality affordable homes to help tackle the country’s housing shortage.
There are plans to extend the garden villages project further this year, with more funding being made available for local communities to bid for. Some £6 million in funding will go towards developing new villages, while £1.4 million has been earmarked for towns.
A number of today’s proposed garden villages and towns have significant local opposition. One of the towns, Harlow and Gilston – on the border of Herts and Essex – has prompted concerns that it would swamp two small hamlets with a current population of just 228, by adding 10,000 new homes.
“Housing targets are putting immense pressure on our area, and marginalising the basic purposes of the Green Belt which the Government has pledged to protect.”
The Government watered down ambitious plans for a series of new garden cities after strong local opposition and difficulty getting projects off the ground. Ebbsfleet, which received hundreds of millions of pounds worth of funding amid a promise of 15,000 new homes, has barely got off the ground and experts warn it has been quietly scrapped.
Today’s plans introduce the concept of garden villages instead, which will extend existing settlements according to plans drawn up by council leaders.
Ministers have thrown their support behind 14 of the sites, but all will need to clear planning hurdles in order to become a reality.
Last year Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, gave his support for building on Green Belt land as long as local communities had a desire to do so.
Fourteen garden villages are to be built across England on sites including a former airfield and green belt land, ministers have said.
The villages, totalling 48,000 homes, will not be extensions of existing small towns or villages, but “distinct new places with their own community facilities”, the government said.
Sites from Cornwall to Cumbria have been identified in the first round of approved locations, making them eligible for a share of a £6m government technical and financial support fund. After completion, the villages may vary in size from 1,500 homes up to 10,000.
The housing minister, Gavin Barwell, said the development of the villages would be locally led by communities rather than central government. “New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies,” he said.
The 600-acre former Deenethorpe airfield near Corby, Northamptonshire, is one of the sites that has been approved for a village. The plans include a village green, shops and community hall, as well as more than 1,000 homes.
Dunton Hills, a garden village set to be built near Brentwood, Essex, will have at least 2,500 homes, as well as new Gypsy and Traveller pitches.
West Carclaze in Cornwall is set to be an ecovillage with 1,500 new energy-efficient homes, space for self-build and custom-built housing, and a new primary school for more than 400 pupils.
Developers say it will have a solar farm and 350 hectares of green space in a new china clay heritage park incorporating the Sky Tip, a local landmark. Bike trails and pubs are also planned.
Cllr Dick Cole, leader of the Cornish devolution party Mebyon Kernow, who said he had objected to proposals for an ecotown for a decade, said the garden village announcement was no more than window dressing for a controversial project.
“The government talks about it being a locally led development, but the reality is that this is only happening because it was a government top-down initiative,” he told the Guardian.
“They say it is a brownfield site, but many of the houses are on fields. It has been one of those projects that seems to have a momentum of its own, despite what local people say.”
North Cheshire garden village, which will sit on the eastern edge of Handforth, has development plans that include 2,000 homes, a nursery and a care home, as well as architect-designed “one-off” homes.
However, locals are worried that a new village of several thousand homes may put pressure on infrastructure such as the congested A34.
Other planned villages include Long Marston in Warwickshire, Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire, Bailrigg in Lancaster and the Infinity garden village in Derbyshire.
The final six are Oxfordshire Cotswold, Culm in Devon, Welborne in Hampshire, Halsnead in Merseyside, Longcross in Surrey and St Cuthberts near Carlisle.
The garden village initiative was announced by the then chancellor George Osborne last year. Conditions for building villages or market towns stated that the developments must be “a new discrete settlement and not an extension of an existing town or village”.
Shaun Spiers, the chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said it would carefully examine the proposals to see whether they were locally led and respected the green belt.
“Done well with genuine local consent, garden villages and towns can help tackle the housing crisis,” he said. “They can certainly be preferable to what is currently happening in too many parts of the country: poor quality developments plonked on the countryside, in the teeth of local opposition and in defiance of good planning principles.”
But areas that absorbed the new garden villages should have guarantees that they would be “protected from speculative planning applications for a long time to come”, he added.
The Department for Communities and Local Government said there had been high levels of interest in building more villages in the coming years and it would make an additional £1m available this year to further development other proposals.
Three new garden towns have also been announced near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, Taunton in Somerset and Harlow and Gilston in Hertfordshire, with £1.4m of funding to support the delivery of about 50,000 homes.
Local CPRE members strongly object to the Hertfordshire plans, under which the village of Gilston and neighbouring hamlet of Eastwick would disappear.
Kevin FitzGerald, the honorary director of CPRE Hertfordshire, said: “These plans herald the death knell of the rural character of whole swaths of Hertfordshire. Beautiful villages, supposedly protected by green belt [designation], look set to be swallowed up by the urban sprawl of neighbouring towns.
“Housing targets are putting immense pressure on our area and marginalising the basic purposes of the green belt, which the government has pledged to protect.”
The Grasslands Trust team blog about nature conservation and broader environmental issues, always with a focus on our threatened grassland habitats. The views in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the Trust.