Another shift towards ‘as of right’ zoning?
iz Truss warned her party it must take on ‘NIMBYs’ today to get more houses built and cut prices.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said the Tories must reform the ‘rigid’ planning system to make it harder for developments to be blocked by existing home-owners, who she described as ‘the worst vested interest we’ve got’.
Speaking to the Resolution Foundation think tank in London, she said this year’s Spending Review – setting out Government budgets for 2020-23 – is an opportunity for the Conservatives to set out a ‘popular free market agenda’…
Liz Truss warned her party it must take on ‘nimbies’ today to get more houses built and cut prices
She said the party should take a cue from market-leading brands like Aldi and Netflix, which ‘deliver what people want, when they want it at a price that they want’.
Joking that she was not calling on her party to adopt a strategy of ‘Netflix and chill’, Ms Truss said Tories must take a ‘ruthless’ approach to stripping back wasteful spending and tearing down barriers to getting on in life.
These include barriers preventing state school pupils getting into Oxbridge, difficulties female entrepreneurs experience in securing finance, and obstacles to building affordable housing for young people.
High house prices were among factors which had led to a 25 per cent drop in people moving to find work over the last 15 years, said Ms Truss, citing studies which suggested workers were missing out on £2,000 of salary as a result.
Conservatives must be ‘prepared to take on vested interests’, including ‘those who want to protect their existing privileges’, she said.
She added: ‘The worst vested interest we’ve got is existing home-owners who block development.
‘I think that is the biggest challenge we face – how are we going to reform the system when there’s a fundamental anti-development bias in our country?’
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said the Tories must reform the ‘rigid’ planning system to make it harder for developments to be blocked by existing home-owners, who she described as ‘the worst vested interest we’ve got’
Ms Truss blamed ‘rigid planning rules’ for ‘house prices that are out of reach of many, many people’.
‘We do have to be prepared to take on those who don’t want a house built in the field next to them,’ she said.
‘The alternative is getting a public who … feel like the housing market is not responding to their demand, not because they are dyed-in-the-wool socialists but because they are simply frustrated. I think there’s a danger that people will support the Labour Party because they are so frustrated about the situation.’
She hailed liberal planning regimes in Tokyo, Vancouver and Germany which had cut back on bureaucracy and resulted in lower house prices.
Ms Truss – seen by some as a potential successor to Theresa May – said a shortage of affordable housing was driving voters into the arms of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour
People in communities like these would respond to a Conservative Party following the US mantra of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ and offering them control of their own lives and the opportunity to get on, she said.
‘I think if we advocate a popular free-market agenda, we can win over those parts of the country, we can drive up economic growth, we can create prosperity and give people a greater feeling of control over their own destiny and a greater feeling of pride in their country, their area and themselves.’
Welcome to Old Oak Park
This website contains a historical archive of the now abandoned plans to bring forward the comprehensive redevelopment of the 46 acre Cargiant site, which is central to unlocking any major development within the area.
Between 2013 and 2017, Cargiant, faced with the possible closure of its business when its land was designated a regeneration area, became reluctant developers and spent £8.5 million trying to bring forward a planning application for their land which could fund their relocation.
For many years fortnightly planning meetings took place with the public sector agency supposedly leading the regeneration, the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). The scheme, known as Old Oak Park, was taken through extensive public consultation – the full details of which you can see on this website – and which were very well received by the local community and other partners.
However, despite all the collaboration, the OPDC concluded that the scheme wasn’t viable as it couldn’t meet the costs needed for infrastructure and social benefits required for the area.
For any development to happen it has to be able to pay for three things:
1. The relocation of Cargiant. Cargiant is the largest independent car processing and retailing plant in the world and a hugely successful and valuable business, built up over 40 years and employing over 700 people directly with many hundreds more reliant on Cargiant’s supply chain. The cost to buy new land and move the business is estimated at in excess of £600 million;
2. New infrastructure including new roads and bridges and all the cabling and pipes for water and energy supplies. In 2016, the OPDC estimated these costs for the land around the Cargiant site at £532 million. Since then the costs have gone up; and
3. Affordable housing. The planning policies of the GLA and the OPDC set a strategic target across the area of 50% affordable housing, so half of the homes don’t contribute any profit at all to all the costs which are needed.
Since Cargiant’s Old Oak Park plans were developed, the OPDC has also put forward new planning policies that see even fewer homes delivered on Cargiant’s land (5,300 homes to be built by 2038 compared with 6,500) with higher levels of affordable homes required. At the same time, the prices for industrial land (needed to move Cargiant) have gone up substantially, partly because so much has already been lost to residential development along with very large areas lost to HS2 constructions sites, and construction costs have also gone up while the values for residential development have gone down and construction costs have escalated.
In short, the development simply doesn’t stack up and no developer can afford to meet the costs of developing the land. Cargiant’s window of relocation has been lost. The OPDC doesn’t have worked-up designs for the land, doesn’t have a development partner and hasn’t solved the huge technical challenges of delivering the infrastructure to the site.
Despite this the OPDC is pressing ahead with seeking £250 million of Government money and has even started a Compulsory Purchase Order process which will see over 1,000 jobs lost. They have also already spent nearly £30 million in just four years.
Cargiant is calling for an immediate halt to further spending and consultant appointments and a full inquiry into the spending and strategy of the OPDC before any more money is wasted and jobs are lost.
What happened here is that Tony Mendes owner of Car Giant has been attempting to do his own thing at the centre of the area irrespective of the other landowners or the masterplan. As such he would have needed to pay for all the linking connections himself.
He seems to be particularly poorly advised as he seems to be admitting that without the public sector providing the enabling infrastructure the site has a negative residual value – perfectly making the case for CPO at ‘no scheme world’ values, needing only to pay for compensation for loss of Car Giant., not even the full cost of relocation.
Im sure Homes England could find a nice site on land they own or Basildon or somewhere.