Neighbours will be given a vote on the design of housing developments on their road, in an olive branch to Tory rebels who oppose the Government’s planning reforms, The Telegraph has learnt.
Ministers are rewriting the Planning Bill after about 100 Conservative MPs suggested they would vote against it, arguing that its attempts to increase housebuilding would shut out the voice of local residents….However, in a major concession to the rebels, The Telegraph understands that Mr Jenrick will also add a new section to the Bill that will allow local people to vote on plans for development near them.
The idea, first proposed in a paper by the Policy Exchange think tank, would involve residents of a street voting on the design of new homes around them, or modification to existing buildings.
It is hoped that giving local people a say on the developments on their streets will encourage “Nimbys” to accept building works, and Tory MPs to vote for the planning reforms…
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is planning to use “neighbourhood development orders”, an obscure planning tool, to enshrine the street-level groups in law.
It is thought that groups of residents will be allowed to band together and suggest a building development for their road, such as extension of one storey to every home.
The idea is supported by many of the Bill’s critics in Parliament. This week, a group of Tory MPs formally proposed edits to the Planning Bill to include street votes.
A government source said: “We want communities to help set the rules for how their own streets should develop so that development reflects local views. The Planning Bill will reflect this, and we are exploring the idea of neighbourhood development orders being adopted at street level.
Nothing against street votes – but this is tactically stupid.. Widening a narrow and obscure rule is not major reform. Ministers have two choices, a universal legal tool of ‘as of right’ development (planning schemes) of which street orders are just one use of a flexible tool, or an obscure use of an obscure rule which will rarely be used. In teh former case they can say to back bencers, if you want your cake you must swallow the broccoli, in the latter its ‘cakism’ they can gorge and swallow nothing and never get healthy. It results in no tactical leverage on Nimby MPS. It achieves nothing and simplifys and consolidate planning law not one jet. Like everything from the Planning Exchange and Planning its not planning, lurching from one pamphlet in consistent to the last and completely half baked.
With backbench Nimbys yuo have to lead them to reforms not give them isolated one clause morsels they can vte for whilst voting down the ones they dont like. That why tactically street votes have to be part of far wider clause that include planning schemes (growth sites) and as of right development in general. If you want you cake you must eat your broccoli.