Consultation on Vision for Ox-Cam Arc Launched

Almost no press from MCHLG – focus was on Beauty yesterday

Here

Status

The Spatial Framework will form national planning policy and transport policy for the Arc and
local planning and local transport authorities must have regard to it when preparing local transport and local development plans and policies, and it will be capable of being a material consideration in
relevant planning decisions in the area.

SEA

We are undertaking a fully integrated Sustainability Appraisal (SA), incorporating a strategic environmental assessment for the purposes of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes
Regulations 2004 (commonly referred to as the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations 2004 or “SEA Regulations”). The Sustainability Appraisal will also be informed by other statutory
assessments and regimes such as a habitats regulations assessment pursuant to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. As part of this consultation, we are seeking views on the initial work we have done to set the scope of the Sustainability Appraisal

The Framework will

At a strategic scale, this will coordinate and focus investment in the area
and shape future local planning decisions on:
• how land is used;
• how the environment is protected and enhanced;
• where and what type of new development happens; and
• what infrastructure is provided.

We believe that the Spatial Framework will allow us to plan for growth in a way that:
• makes the area a better place to live and work for all;
• leaves a long-term legacy by protecting and enhancing the Arc’s built and natural
environment and beautiful places; and
• helps combat and build resilience to climate change.

Note this is pretty weak, where is the commitment to net zero?

There is no section on what the national policy on the Arc is – other than saying:

The government wants to support sustainable economic growth in the OxfordCambridge Arc, so we are developing a Spatial Framework to plan for that growth – to 2050 and beyond

And referencing the Feb 21 policy document, which falls between the stools of not explaining the ambition and making it seem predetermined, by not ask9ing a question on the vision and priority.

in March 2021, we held a short series of initial workshops and conversations with a
small sample of local residents, young people, academic experts, businesses, charities,
campaign groups and local councils that allowed us to test our approach to engagement
in advance of this consultation. We hope to publish a summary of the feedback from this
early engagement in the near future for your information

Interesting.

many found the language and terminology used, such as planning policy, a barrier. We have taken this feedback on board and reflected it in the approach and design of this consultation.

Sigh I remember how Tony Blair insisted plans be called ‘frameworks’ because people found the term plan hostile. Similar inanity. How is replacing ‘planning policy’ with ‘framework’ any different? The problem is governments have not talked positively about planning for a generation, and as a result public discourse has resulted in limbic responses like ‘developers= evil=’concreting over the countryside’/ If we are have to have a proper civic discourse on the ‘original moral purpose of planning’ as Chris Pincher said we have to start talking about planning.

The sections on Natural Improvement and Economy are interesting. The section on research institutions has an error, the Greater Cambridge Area has many pure and practical research instutions that arnt connected to universities, but to charities, trusts and companies.

The section on new development is very odd for a strategic planning document, talking about how areas around new developments are designed not about the location of new developments and their linkage to strategic transport investments.

There is a section on place making but not directly on housing or the relationship between employment targets and housing targets.

We have committed to doing this by using the Spatial Framework, supported by the Sustainability
Appraisal, to identify:
the most sustainable locations for new homes, including identifying Opportunity
Areas
, to support local planning authorities to plan for this growth;
• the infrastructure – such as transport, health and education facilities, utilities and digital – needed to support sustainable growth in those locations, and the key locations for strategic infrastructure; and
• locations to protect and improve the environmental as part of sustainable growth
and development.

We will also seek to set policies to enable:
• new development to come forward at the scale and speed needed, in
sustainable locations, with a focus on brownfield redevelopment;
• new development to support the recovery of nature, new green space that can
be accessed by all, resilience to climate change, and protection of highly valued
existing green space; and
housing needs to be met in full, including much-needed affordable housing

Now if the framework is not setting housing targets how will we know how many opportunity areas it needs. Lets take some good example Grove, North Cambourne and Clavert is this to be a couple of thousand new houses as per existing local plan or a New City of 200,000? How do you SEA something woolly without numbers? What is to stop the ‘slowth’ authorities in the arc planning for as little as possible in opportunity areas and then boxing in and preventing their expansion with new nature based solutions areas preventing growth beyond the first (inadequte) plan period and level of growth? This is why a woolly framework avoiding the elephant in the room is no substitute for a good strategic plan.

in parallel to the development of the Spatial Framework, the government is also exploring options to speed up new housing and infrastructure development in the Arc to help meet its ambitions, where evidence supports it. This includes examining (and where appropriate, developing) the case for new and/or expanded settlements in the Arc,
including options informed by possible East West Rail stations between Bedford and Cambridge and growth options at Cambridge itself. The government will undertake additional Arc consultations on any specific proposals for such options as appropriate.

Interesting not only the central section of east west Rail, Cambridge is mentioned because it has developed options, but so has MK, so why not MK? Why is Mk always left out? Of course Bucks, Northants and Oxon have not. So how will strategic options be developed and consulted on here?

Note there is a strong reference to a government statement of Feb2019 stating the government’s AMBITION for 1/2 million new homes by 2050. This has never been withdrawn. Not Chris Pinchers parliamentary statements have said there is not target, there never was, its an ambition and as far as I can see it remains the government’s ambition.

Note in the delivery section there is mention of a single Arc Delivery body again but not a single mention of development corporations.

Well Done -it seems like Planning Reform Bill may be published in Draft Form

Planning

Legislation in draft form never has gone on to fail in parliament. Even less likely with EVFEL.

From the Griffeth and Lyle Textbook on Parliamentary Procedure:

Select committees looking at draft bills seem to have steered a middle way between
challenging the whole principle of the bill and minutely scrutinising the text of each
clause. Substantive reports have been published, commenting on the policy of the bill
and suggesting improvements. The relevant government departments have been able
subsequently to point to a committee’s support for particular measures. At the same
time they have had to justify quite fully any decisions not to accept changes
recommended by the committee. Since committee scrutiny has often been conducted
in tandem with public consultation on the bill, the whole process has subjected draft
bills to more thorough public examination at an earlier stage than would normally
occur.

2004 leader of the House – Peter Hain

pre-legislation is a very desirable practice and should make subsequent handling easier, though there is a
lively debate amongst my business manager colleagues and some ministers as to whether it actually does assist with the subsequent passage of a Bill or reveal even more arguments to be had around it. I am a very great fan of pre-legislative scrutiny, and the more we can do the better

The number of bills published in draft form has fallen to 1 in 2004-4 to one this session; and the quality of legislation has fallen as a result. One simply has to think of this years dogs Breakfast of an Environment Bill, which was written in the department a year before being published. A wasted year.

Does South Oxfordshire have a 5 year Housing Land Supply?

Statement from Chief Executive

The following statement was made by the Chief Executive at the South Oxfordshire District Council meeting on 15 July 2021:

Our stated position is that our current land supply position is 5.33 years for the period from 2021 to 2026.  This is the figure published following the annual reporting, in line with national guidance, by the Head of Planning, and the research and review work undertaken by the planning team that looks at actual and projected delivery rates. [err at the date of the AMR only surely]

It is worth noting that the lower figure advanced by the appellants in a recent case and accepted by the Inspector was for the period 2020-2025, so we are comparing different 5 year periods. [eer that doesn’t mean it isn’t out of date]

For this reason, the published land supply figure of 5.33 years is the figure that planning officers and members of the planning committee will be continuing to work to at this time. [sic have been ordered to work to]   Both need to continue to make decisions in accordance with the adopted development plan which remains in force. [err unless material considerations indicate otherwise]

Neighbourhood plans should continue, as they have been, to plan proactively for their areas.  As the Government itself states “Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.”

It is also the case that where made neighbourhood plans are less than 2 years old, and contain housing allocations, these neighbourhood areas are only required to demonstrate a 3 year housing land supply rather than a 5 year supply*. The greater share of the Community Infrastructure Levy** these areas receive is a further benefit of having a neighbourhood plan that plans positively and proactively.  We encourage parishes to continue with plans under preparation, and as always, our neighbourhood plan team are available to assist with any queries. 

In the meantime, we are reviewing the Inspectors decision, and it is only right that we look to provide ourselves with further assurance in light of its challenge on our 5 year supply figure.  That work includes a review led by our new Head of Policy and Programmes, who has also engaged independent planning advice and additional external legal support. [it is out of date by cllrs refuse to take expert advice of officers and want lost of money wasted on consultants and unecessary legl advice]

I expect us to update scrutiny and planning committee on the outcome of that work as part of our normal processes, and Members more widely once the work has concluded.  I will ensure that we also issue a further communication to all Town and Parish Councils at that time as I appreciate this in an important area for them, and our residents. [We are putting off the dirty day]

*National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 14)

**(25% as opposed to 15% elsewhere).”

More information on the council’s five year land supply is available on this page

No they haven’t done the work yet on rolling forward the inspectors table by one year and until they have done so will continue to work off an out of date list because the cllrs here would throw all their toys out of the pram otherwise.

Pinchers Westminster Hall Speech on Planning Reform and Zoning

Hansard

It is a real pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Cummins. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight (Bob Seely) on securing the debate. He is a doughty campaigner for his constituents in the Isle of Wight, and I know that he thinks deeply and for a considerable length of time on these important, and sometimes intricate, planning matters.

I am very happy to look at the proposals that he has written to us about, because we all agree that we want to get our planning reforms right. We also all agree, including representatives from Shelter and KPMG, that we need more homes in our country. Both organisations will say that we need to build north of 250,000 new homes a year in our country to address our housing challenges. However, the present planning system, with all the plans calculated as a total, represents less than 180,000 new homes planned each year, so we do need to build more homes in the right places, and of the right quality, to serve our constituents. That is why we launched two consultations last year; that is sometimes, I think, forgotten. We launched the consultation on planning reform, because yes, we do want there to be more homes, but we also want a planning system that is more transparent, more predictable, easier to navigate and more speedy and that delivers good-quality, well designed homes. That is what we intend to achieve through our planning White Paper and the reforms that we will introduce later this year, and also a White Paper on local housing need in order to ensure that local authorities are planning for 300,000 homes each year. But the LHN—local housing need—number is not binding and is not an end to the process; it is a beginning point from which local authorities can then identify constraints, if they have them, or opportunities, if they want them, to build fewer or more homes than their target local housing need. The green belt is one example that local authorities can use as a constraint on building.

What is important is that local authorities keep their local plans up to date, because if they do not, they expose their constituents—all our constituents—to speculative development from applications that come forward, which the Planning Inspectorate will give great weight to if the local authorities do not have a plan, and do not have control of their local housing supply. I have to tell you, Mrs Cummins, that the local authorities in York, Gateshead, South Lakeland, and Bath and North East Somerset have plans that are out of date. They need to get them “in date” in order to protect their constituents from speculative developments. I say gently to the hon. Member for Bath (Wera Hobhouse) that it is little use lecturing me about planning; what she should be doing is encouraging her local authority to get its plan in place and protect her constituents from speculative development.

We are keen to build a planning system that works for the 21st century and that moves faster than the present glacial pace of planning. It takes local plans seven years in many cases—on average—to be instituted. It then takes five years for many planning applications to see a spade in the ground. It is taking far too long. The process needs to be speeded up. But crucially, it needs to engage more people. That is a point that I know my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight has mentioned and that my hon. Friends for Stourbridge (Suzanne Webb) and for Crewe and Nantwich (Dr Mullan) have also raised as an issue. Right now, sometimes as little as 1% of the local population in a planning authority area gets engaged in plan making. That rises to a whopping 2% or 3% when it comes to individual applications. And as we have heard, nine out of 10 planning applications—90%—are passed anyway. That is not particularly empowering; it is not particularly engaging. We want to do better.

Will the Minister give way?Christopher Pincher Sharethis specific contribution

I will give way in a moment to my hon. Friend, but I am conscious, if I may say so, that I have a lot of questions to answer that he and others have asked and he does get a second bite of the cherry later.

We do need to ensure that more people are engaged, and we believe that by digitising the planning process, by creating map-based plans of local areas, we can engage many more people in the planning process, and they can get more engaged up front, making real decisions about the sorts of buildings that they want in their local geographies—the densities and the designs—and about the infrastructure to support those homes. That is real power, given to people much earlier in the process, so that they can become much more engaged.

Rachael Maskell Sharethis specific contribution

Will the Minister give way?

I will give way to the hon. Lady in a moment, but I will make a little more progress first.

My hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight suggested that we are scrapping the planning system. We are not; we are proposing to reform it—and I will give him an example of what I mean by reform, rather than scrappage. These are our proposals. In areas that we have designated as growth sites, a local plan can set design and density standards, and describe the infrastructure expected from developers in those areas.

If the developers tick all the up-front boxes agreed in the plan and consulted on with local people, they will get their outline planning permission to begin their building process. They will still need to keep coming back to the local authority for consents, but they will get their outline planning permission. However, if they do not put forward an application that conforms with the local plan, they will have to put forward an application in the normal way under the present rules.

If developers bring forward an application in what we have described in the White Paper as the protected areas, they will have to bring it forward under the present system. The present system will remain, but we want an accelerated process to identify places where local authorities want to see development taking place, and to bring forward in those places designs and infrastructure requirements that the local communities want, need and have bought into.Rachael Maskell Sharethis specific contribution

I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. Is he open to considering a process of deliberative democracy around planning, which really involves engaging with all parts of the community to work through the very difficult challenges in planning and come up with solutions that work for everyone?Column 212WHis located hereChristopher Pincher Sharethis specific contribution

I think that I am describing exactly that process. We want more people to be involved and we want them to have a say earlier on about specific matters that should concern them, including what areas may be sites for accelerated development in their areas and what the designs, the design codes and the infrastructure should be. I think that is deliberative democracy.Bob Seely Sharethis specific contribution

I am not for one second trying to catch the Minister out, but at the beginning of the White Paper the Prime Minister said that he wanted to tear the system down and rebuild it. We are now evolving into a reform process rather than a scrapping process, as part of the very sensible evolution and listening process. Is that correct?Christopher Pincher Sharethis specific contribution

As I said, we want to reform the system. If my hon. Friend listens to what I have said and to what my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has said, he will know that we are keen to make sure that we have a process that reforms our planning system, which is outdated and needs change. However, we are not proposing to scrap it, to use the term that he used.Wera Hobhouse Sharethis specific contribution

Will the Minister give way?Christopher Pincher Sharethis specific contribution

I will not give way, because I am conscious that I do not have long left—Wera Hobhouse Sharethis specific contribution

Can I raise a point of order?Judith Cummins (in the Chair)Sharethis specific contribution

Please sit down. That is not a point of order.Christopher Pincher Sharethis specific contribution

I am grateful, Mrs Cummins, for that ruling. I am conscious that I probably have only about six minutes left in which to conclude my remarks, to allow my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight time to sum up the debate.

A number of Members have raised the issue of infrastructure. We all know that when we build homes, those homes need the requisite infrastructure to support them: the GP clinics, the parks, the schools, the roads and the roundabouts. We want to make sure that we have a system that provides those things when they are needed and not way down the line. We do not believe that the present system—a mixture of section 106 agreements and community infrastructure levy payments—meets that requirement.

Indeed, 80% of local authorities tell us that section 106 does not work for them. It is loaded in favour of developers, especially the bigger guns, and often means that infrastructure comes late or not at all. If it does appear to be coming, it is often negotiated away in a manner that local authorities and local communities do not want. That is why we have proposed an infrastructure levy, which will provide up front the infrastructure that local communities want and need. We will make sure that, in doing so, we deliver just as much affordable housing as is delivered in the present system.

My hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Selaine Saxby) made the very important point about the challenge that some rural communities face. I am open to considering ways in which we can help local people to remain living close to where they come from or where they work. One of the initiatives that we have Toggle showing location ofColumn 213WHannounced is the first homes initiative, paid for through developer contributions, which will ensure that local people will be able to buy, at a discount of at least 30%, a home in their local community. Those homes will be covenanted, in perpetuity, to ensure that when or if they are sold on, the buyers, who will be local people—they could be key workers—will also buy at 30% at least below the then local market rate. However, I am open to hearing from colleagues about what other opportunities there may be to encourage local people to stay close to their communities.

My hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight also raised the issue of neighbourhood plans. I am very keen that we build, and bake, neighbourhood plans into the new planning system. They can be very effective and engaging. The trouble is that there are fewer of them the further north—or further into urban areas—we go, so in our planning reforms we are looking at ways to ensure that more neighbourhood plans are produced across the country so that additional housing is identified, with good designs and local infrastructure, to support those communities.

My hon. Friend also mentioned the importance of recycling. We have already made it very clear—in our national planning policy statements, and in the national planning policy framework—that brownfield ought to come first. We have backed that up with fiscal spending to ensure that we are paying for remediation in and around our country. Some £400 million was made available last year for the remediation of brownfield sites in mayoral combined authorities, with a further £100 million made available by the Chancellor in the latest Budget. We are determined to put brownfield first.

In our permitted development rights reforms—I know some colleagues are not so very keen on those—we also encourage the development of redundant sites, or shops that are no longer viable, in towns and city centres. That means we are building homes in the places where people need them, which takes the weight off the transport infrastructure as they are close to GP clinics and other services that people want and need. We are addressing that issue of recycling, too.

In the short time that I have left, I will speak about build-out. The shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury), talked about a ten-minute rule Bill. I would suggest that it is a “ten-minute thought” Bill, because we do not really know from their proposals how the Opposition would deal with issues like gaming or whether they would help and support small and medium-sized enterprises, rather Toggle showing location ofColumn 214WHthan making the system more difficult for them. We do not know whether they are proposing that the timetable system should relate to the permissions granted or the building commencement date.

However, we are keen to ensure that we find sensible mechanisms to encourage the build-out of permissions where they exist. We have heard what people have said, both across this Chamber and in response to the consultation, and we are determined to ensure that, where appropriate, permissions are built out rapidly.Wera Hobhouse Sharethis specific contribution

On a point of order, Mrs Cummins. I want to put on the record the fact that the Minister gave this Chamber incorrect information. Bath and North East Somerset Council has a fully updated local plan in place. It is going through a partial revision and is halfway through the terms of its current plan. But while the partial revision is taking place, the local plan is fully updated.Judith Cummins (in the Chair)Sharethis specific contribution

The Minister is here and your point of order is now on the record.Christopher Pincher Sharethis specific contribution

I am grateful, Mrs Cummins. I can tell you that the information I have is that the plan was last updated in 2014—some seven years ago.

We are determined to ensure that our reforms meet the tests that my hon. Friend, and others, have set—to speed up the planning system to make it more effective, engaging and transparent. I look forward to the support of all colleagues across the House when we bring our proposals forward later this year.

Planning Law and the Descent into Complexity

One of the main themes of this blog in recent months is that a precondition of reform is simplification of Planning Law. Hence my proposed draft single planning act.

The Deputy Senior Presiding Judge Sir Charles Haddon Cave has made a speech on this issue.

“English Law and Decent into Complexity”

The Rule of Law requires that the law is simple, clear and accessible. Yet English law has in become increasingly more complex, unclear and inaccessible. As modern life becomes more complex and challenging, we should pause and reflect whether this increasingly complexity is the right direction and what it means for fairness and access to justice. 

the law seems to have grown like ‘Topsy’ : the algorithms and manifestations of the law have multiplied exponentially and become ever more complex and voluminous. The fact is, we labour under the heavy yoke of a lot of law and a lot of dense, complex law at that. Does the law really have to become more complex as the world becomes more complex? Or should we…move in the opposite direction towards simplicity? I venture to suggest that the more complex modern life becomes, the more important it is constantly to strive to simplify the law…

The American political scientist, Professor Steven Teles, coined the term “kludgeocracy” to describe the
complexity and over-regulation of modern American government. A “kludge” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfil a particular purpose”…

There is also, an admirable culture of counsel of perfection which had pervaded the
development of English law – mostly to its great benefit, namely, a desire to devise laws,
rules and exceptions that cover all potential scenarios and achieve uber-consistency and
predictability. But this can, sometimes, be self-defeating and lead in practice to
difficulty, obfuscation and uncertainty. As Arthur Conan Doyle said, “A counsel of
perfection is easy at a study table”21. As Voltaire said, “Perfect is the enemy of the
good”. Sometimes, the perfect can simply mean lawyers endlessly arguing amongst
themselves in their own Tower of Babel. Sometimes, the pragmatic and workmanlike is
better than the legally perfect, as well as of more use to society in the long run. Anyway,
enough of all that…

.Complex legislation comes in principally in two forms. The first is outdated legislation drafted in another era which is badly in need of reform for the modern age, … The second is legislation which is
born complex and then repeatedly amended to make it even more unintelligible….

Sometimes, to be fair to us judges, we are simply having to deal with the myriad of points
and citation of authorities thrown up by counsel. Without raising a cut-throat defence,
can I echo the words of Sir Stephen Irwin: “The excessively long and complex skeleton
argument is a curse”.65 Sometimes hunting in a skeleton for the real point in the case
hidden amongst many is like “Where’s Wally?”.

Planning Conditions on Litter; are MCHLG Serious?

From Build back beter high streets issued today:

We are aware of public concern around the levels of litter outside fast food outlets. To address
these concerns, we will review planning practice guidance in relation to litter, to provide
further advice on how planning conditions can reasonably be applied to prevent and
clean up litter caused by the fast food outlets which are most likely to generate it.

Two problems

From Test Valley

Circular 11/95advises against the use of conditions where other legislation exists to
mitigate the harm of a proposed development. As such it is not reasonable to
attach a condition to a permission requiring the provision of litter bins in most
cases.

Council’s also cannot require, by planning condition, an applicant to do
something out of his control such as place a bin on land he or she does not
own. If the only location for a bin was on land outside of the control of the
applicant the authority could not reasonably impose a condition requiring the
applicant to provide a bin unless the land is under public ownership where
there is a reasonable prospect of the owner allowing a bin to be located on
their land.

There is other legislation. There used to be street litter control notices. These were replaced in 2014 by Community protection orders, which could be used for example to sanction businesses that allow customers to litter.

Littering notices were spectacularly useless. Are CPNs any better?

It is difficult to see how planning conditions can be effective. How could they be enforced, surely the environmental protection powers are better. What will PPG do except point out these other powers? Perhaps on putting up notices to use bins, I cant see what they could do?

Johnson’s Sketchy Levelling Up Plan – National Spatial Planning?

Here

10 times more content than a normal PM speech. No short paras here. Giant run on paras. A few takeaways.

government is there to provide a strategic lead but that requires consistency from government – not chopping and changing – in the last 40 years we have had 40 different schemes or bodies to boost local or regional growth- we had the Abercrombie plan in London, the new towns, the economic development committees, the urban regeneration corporations, the new deal for communities, the regional development agencies, and yet none of these initiatives have been powerful enough to deal with the long term secular trends- de-industrialisation or the decline of coastal resorts and that basic half-heartedness has been coupled with an unspoken assumption by policy makers that investment should always follow success- so that to use a football metaphor the approach has always been to hang around the goal mouth rather than being the playmaker.

Watch out when a PM mentions the Abercrombie Plan in speech. You tend as a result to get less of a strategic lead and less strategic planning as a result.

The PM was vocal on inequality and centralisation. He made the point clearly that levelling up did not imply levelling down of weathy areas.

let us be clear about the difference between this project and levelling down. We don’t want to level down. We don’t want to decapitate the tall poppies, we don’t think you can make the poor parts of the country richer by making the rich parts poorer and you can’t hope to stimulate growth around the country by actually constraining companies from developing as the Labour government did in the 1960s, with the ludicrous industrial development certificates…

levelling up is not a jam-spreading operation, it’s not robbing Peter to pay Paul, its not zero sum it’s win win for the whole United Kingdom

But that was contradicted by other parts of the speech.

governments have created a sort of Matthew effect to him that hath shall be given so you end up investing in areas where house prices are already sky high and where transport is already congested and by turbo charging those areas, especially in London and the south east – you drive prices even higher and you force more and more people to move to the same expensive areas- and two thirds of graduates from our top 30 universities end up in London – and the result is that their commutes are longer, their trains are more crowded, they have less time with their kids, they worry at the same time that the younger generation won’t be able to get a home and that their leafy suburb or village will be engulfed by new housing development but without the infrastructure to go with it.

Which implies less investment in wealthy areas?

Prices are only higher in the South East, overheating only ever happens when you don’t build enough houses to match the jobs, and when infrastructure doesn’t keep apace.

I Boris saying don’t build houses here or build houses matched with investment so overheating doesn’t happen?

You can only make sense of this with a spatial plan. If there is an area where because of environmental constraints – lets says villages in the North Downs, you absolutely must constrain jobs growth there so they don’t overheat and force long commutes. Equally though you need to build enough houses where they are not strict constraints otherwise the overheating gets worse and worse and the commutes longer and longer and the infrastructure deficit gets worse and worse.

Lets define overheating – overheating is the negative environmental consequences of not building enough houses to meet economic growth because of land or policy constraints, or the negative environmental consequences of building too many houses in areas of environmental constraint rather than in accessible less constrained areas.

Hence housing has to go somewhere. The implication of the speech that you can force relocation of jobs to the North – that is tried and failed regional policy and the Arc will grow.

the golden triangle of Oxford London Cambridge – the greatest scientific constellation anywhere in this hemisphere

But which areas will go and which constrained? Where there is overheating from environmental (as opposed to policy) constraints where will the shortfall of housing be met?

Is the implication, for example, that South Bucks is overheating and growth areas like North Bucks will take the strain? If so that means much more than a million homes which only included a component for land constrained areas around 1/3rd the size it should have been if you had for example an Abercrombie type scheme of suitable areas growing and other areas not.

Also what now is a growth deal? It seems the government no longer likes them after incoming Nimby politicians in the likes of Bucks and Oxfordshire choose to break the deals. Now what is the plan, to broker directly with County Level Mayors?

We need to re-write the rulebook, with new deals for the counties. There is no reason why our great counties cannot benefit from the same powers we have devolved to city leaders so that they can take charge of levelling up local infrastructure …As I say, we will not be proceeding with a one size fits all template. One possibility is a directly elected mayor for individual counties but there are other possibilities. We could devolve power for a specific local purpose like a county or city coming together to improve local services like buses. So my offer to you – and I am talking to all those who see a role for yourselves in this local leadership- come to us, come to Neil O Brien or to me with your vision for how you will level up, back business, attract more good jobs and improve your local services.

Err what about build more housing?