Scotland and Ireland have Introduced Zoning, 28 English New Towns were built with it – no placard waving in site – what is the big deal?

With recent legislative changes in Scotland and Ireland England and Wales are now the only countries in the world without modern zoning controls on the statute book.

In Scotland since 2019 we have Masterplan Consent Areas replacing spz etc.

In Ireland we have Planning Schemes, again replacing SPZs etc. The terms planning scheme comes from old English legislation and I adopt it in my suggested planning reform act.

The New Towns Act of 1946 section 3 requires a masterplan and a development order granting consent within its area – 28 new towns were built using this provision, I note with very little opposition (apart initially for Stevenage).

So what is the big deal? Its simply that we have become engrained to slow out of date practices and procedures never designed for town scale planning.

I should add the opposition of the TCPA to zoning is doubly hypocritical and utterly indefensible. They want New Towns designated under the New Towns Act don’t they?

5 good reasons why adding major housing sites to the National Infrastructure regime is not a good idea @ChrisPincher

Christopher Pincher in planning said he was ‘open to the idea’ of widening the National Infrastructure Regime to Major Housing schemes.

This is occasionally suggested by those who dont understand how the National Infrastructure Regime under the 2008 Act works. 5 reasons why it sint a good fit.

1. It is highly tailored to Major Infrastructure, not Major Housing

In the noughties there was years of work across Whitehall to deal with the length of time needed to approve national infrastructure like new Power Stations, Pipelines etc. Often these needed multiple approval across different departments as well as seperate CPO. The solution was a special procedure under the 2008 Act to grant for consent for everything through an application to a branch of the Planning Inspectorate. The steps, though not perfect, are more clearly set out than for other planning applications but the whole system design was for infrastructure, to which later commercial development was added. Housing other than associated housing is excluded. Several aspects of the system design make it unsuitable for major housing.

2. The decision is not local plan led – which will be politically explosive

Section 38(6) doesn’t apply – the plan led clause. Many policy areas, such as Green Belt, only exist through local plans. There was good reasons for this. The appropriate policy was national policy and some infrastructure, such as pipelines, have t go where they go through irrespective of local policy. Instead national projects have to be determined by special national policy statements, for example national policy statement on airports. The national regime has been far less successful where NPSs have not been spatially specific, such as ports and strategic rail freight hubs, where you have simply seen multiple competing and conflicting applications for the same need – such as the ridiculous case South of Northampton for two mutually incompatible SFRAs. Much the same happened when John Major made his ‘peeing on the motorway’ speech, a tsunami of motorway services station applications only a few of which could be approved. The same would happen, a stampede of badly conceived applications each aiming to be first. The only way this could work is with a national plan or NPS of where major new sites would go.

3. There is provision under the existing Act for the SoS to direct certain categories of Applications to be made to the SOS directly

So why go through the political pain for amending the law of National projects? Similarly the SoS has existing powers (which need tidying up) to declare development corporations, New Towns etc. which is a much better fit. designed for the outset for major housing and mixed use schemes.

4. It Might be Slower

A lot of paperwork is needed for national infrastructure schemes, designed as they are to consider impacts over large areas and multiple authorities, consultation reports, local impact reports etc. This might actually slow things down.

5. It has been tried in Ireland and failed spectacularly

Ireland introduced a ‘temporary’ measure for major housing sites to be made to its planning board. It bogged whole system down as many sloppy applications were made, not meeting the procedures, and leading to large numbers of judicial reviews. The Irish government has stated the temporary measure will not be made permanent.

ONS have underestimated Working Age Migrants by 1.4 Million, Will Mean Housing Targets will go up not down after Brexit

Many local authorities who have large numbers of east European Migrants have long suspected this, with NHS and School rolls records widely at variance with mid year population estimates suggesting massive census under enumeration.

The applications for settled status has confirmed this. Around 1.1 million may have left Britain after Brexit, leave supermarket shelves empty, and fruit rotting in fields, but the number of working age was underestimated by around 1.4 million, suggesting at least 2 million underestimated total population. England’s demographic baseline for use the standard method will have to be resent. We will soon have a new census, but now live data from GP rolls collected as part of COVID are now far more accurate, why not use those instead?

All 5 Lewes Group Leaders oppose rail based new village outside South Downs – so where exactly will Lewes Put it’s Housing?

Sussex Argus

Quick answer – they haven’t a f****g clue where it will go, instinctive opposition to a sustainable location being the default position. So they will end up putting their housing at car based sites at Ringmer or Chailey instead, those villages will love that.

ALL five party group leaders on a district council oppose controversial plans by Eton College to build a 3,000-house new town near a national park.

Leaders of Lewes District Council have deemed the 500-acre site East Chiltington, which sits on the edge of the South Downs National Park, as inappropriate for a new town.

Don’t Urbanise the Downs, which was formed in March to fight the scheme and now has nearly 2,000 members from right across Sussex, approached all five party group leaders to get their views on the proposed scheme.

Lewes District Council is currently a hung council, with no one political party having overall control.

Control of the Cabinet is with councillor James MacCleary as leader, as part of a cooperative alliance, consisting of the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats, Labour groups and a member from the Independent group.

Conservative group leader Isabelle Linington said: “I’m totally opposed to this development.

“No doubt about it. I think it’s totally inappropriate and shouldn’t even be considered, let alone allowing anything to proceed.”

“Our mantra has always been brown site first; you shouldn’t even consider greenfield sites until you’ve filled all the brownfield sites.

“I’m very worried about it. It would be disastrous if they put a town there.

“It’s just unthinkable that they could destroy all that land.

“Also, it’s a nonsense argument to say that people can enjoy the countryside if they lived there because if they build this town, there wouldn’t be any countryside.”

According to the group, East Chiltington would grow to 16 times its current number of homes and have more than 3,000 additional buildings crammed in to just 20 per cent of the parish if the plans were to go ahead.

It would also result in over 3.5 million more car trips per year from the 6,000 additional new town residents and their approximately 4,200 additional cars.

Zoe Nicholson, Green party leader and deputy leader of the council, added: “I stand horrified with residents about the scale and size of this development in our beautiful countryside, and the impact on the fragile eco-systems in which is it sited.”

James MacCleary, LibDem leader and current Leader of the Council, said: “What I find most frightening about it (the scheme) is the traffic generation and the carbon impact of all those additional vehicles … and linked to that would be the energy demands of the development and the effect that has in terms of the sustainability of the site.

“If there is one thing that must be obvious to everyone, it is the fact that the roads there are in no way fit to support a settlement of even the fraction the size.”

By the way according to Lewes Brownfield register it has less about two years supply of brownfield sites, most of which are already permitted and form part of their housing trajectory; what about the other 18 years of the local plan, plus overspill housing from Wealden, Eastbourne, Brighton and the South Downs National Park?