We have a major housing crisis. That is not news. The government has been trying to solve the problem but it is not clear they are on the right track. The Green Belt, protected areas and the countryside in general are all being threatened by inappropriate development pushed by a desperate attempt to build more homes.
The Government consultation on the new NPPF closes on the 10th May. The review is based on the assumption that only the private sector can solve this problem and that Local Authorities must be compelled to accept centrally imposed housing targets that reflect demand rather than need. Local Authorities must grant more planning permissions and this will, of course, be converted into more houses. So the Local Authorities cannot block inappropriate developments without being cast as the ‘bad guys’.
You can influence the outcome. It is perfectly possible to build affordable homes for people without wrecking the countryside for all time. But we need a planning system that:
- Supports local democracy by adhering to neighbourhood and local plans.
- Ensures realistic and high quality development based on genuine need not market demand.
- Delivers more affordable homes by closing legal loopholes that put developer profits first.
- Adopts a true ‘brownfield first’ approach to development.
- Protects our countryside for current and future generations.
You can add your voice to the debate by e-mailing your local MP firstname.lastname@example.org