Category: Planning

2020 – The year the housing was hit by a maverick algorithm

Alongside Planning for the Future White Paper (see previous article), ministers published without fanfare a second consultation on changes to the planning system. Council housing targets will be set centrally using a crude formula that distributes responsibility for the government’s ambition for 300,000 new homes a year round the country. But the formula will allocate more housing to higher priced areas such as the south and east, while reducing ambitions for the Northern Powerhouse. A ‘short-term’ waiver of S106 requirements for most small sites could cut affordable housing delivery by up to 20%. A quarter of affordable housing delivered will be for sale at a 25% discount at the expense of social and affordable rented homes.

2020 – The year government took planning away from the people

2020 will be remembered for many things. The pandemic and flooding among them. It will also be remembered as the year they took planning away from the people. The government’s proposals in the white paper Planning for the Future and associated documents are bold. They will transfer many local planning powers from councils and communities to Whitehall and the planning inspectorate in Bristol. Ministers want planning by checklist instead of considered, albeit sometimes difficult, planning deliberations that lead to quality developments. There are sensible ideas in the government’s proposals but they are countered by its determination to take democracy and localism out of planning.

The curious case of the plans for Linney House (which are now at appeal)

Three homes approved. Four homes expected to be approved. But the developer of the Linney House site is determined to press ahead with his appeal against Shropshire Council’s lack of a decision on his scheme for eight homes. His appeal launched in June is proving to be as complex as the planning history of this site. The developer doesn’t pull any punches during the appeal. He attacks the council for not determining the application and lambasts the council’s tree officer. The council quite rightly refutes these arguments. It bases its case for rejection of the scheme on the impact on ecology, wildlife corridors and trees. However, its case is weakened by an extant planning permission for three perfectly awful homes. A final decision by the planning inspector is expected in the next few weeks.

Nearly 80 objections have been lodged to the unwanted housing development on Castle View Terrace – here is what people are saying

Update 11 September: 152 objections have now been lodged. There are nearly always objections to housing development. Sometimes they are not well founded. People don’t like change or do not want any more housing in their locality. The planning application for seven homes on Castle View Terrace is different. At the time of writing, Sunday 6 September, Shropshire Council had received 77 carefully reasoned objections. I can’t recall so many objections for a small housing scheme. There are no expressions of support for the scheme. That is not a surprise. As the objectors make clear, the development is out of character with the area. It destroys a valuable green space in an area of town that lacks green spaces. And we don’t need the housing. We have hundreds of homes approved but unbuilt. Shropshire Homes, the Castle View Terrace developer, has 157 homes approved on Fishmore Quarry and Sheet Road. It should get on with building those and abandon this scheme which will destroy a much valued meadow. There is still time to comment on this scheme (20/02971/FUL).

Objection to Shropshire Homes application for seven dwellings on Castle View Terrace, Ludlow

This is my objection to the speculation application for seven dwellings on Castle View Terrace. The site is not allocated in the local plan and the developer’s suggestion that because it is unallocated ‘white land’, it is therefore available for development is nonsense. The proposed homes will be out of character with this terrace which should be regarded as an unlisted heritage asset. North east Ludlow lacks green space and no more should be lost. The meadow should be preserved and transferred to the community which is prepared to buy the land and retain it as open accessible space.

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