The enormity of this government’s planning proposals must be understood, and their content rejected

Here are the comments which we have submitted to the House of Commons housing communities and local government select committee, which is conducting a survey of experiences of the planning system and views on the government’s “developers’ charter” which would reduce obligations to provide affordable and council housing, and scrap communities’ rights to object to specific planning proposals.

The survey will be open until 11:59 pm on Wednesday 11th November and can be found at

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSsBc9hscYRNFrbfHBkcg0ANUOE0xVzEzWkU5MDVWTE1OVFNJSzFSOFlNTy4u

Please make your own submission.

Just 250 words are permitted, so here is what we have sent in.

 

This government aims to scrap the 1947 system which effectively and quite rightly nationalises changes in the use of land: a system has already been undermined by the reduction in public funding for really-affordable housing, thus compromising some planning functions: e.g. the Mayor’s failed attempt to use the London Plan to forbid boroughs to require family sized homes to be built. Why? In order to boost developer profit of course.

The government’s arguments about community consultation are transparently spurious. They want to move consultation on line ‘rather than putting notices on lampposts’, meaning they don’t want local people to know about specific proposals. We must retain the essential democratic right of communities to comment on and object to the specific proposals which remake our home neighbourhoods. 

The government proposals take no account of the tendency of developers to bend the plan to maximise profit by building smaller homes, fewer affordable homes, tenure segregation, etc.

We need a more robust planning system not deregulation, to stop these abuses.  We have used planning objections, representations on local plans, and official complaints about our local planning team not in a negative way, but to hold Councillors’ feet to the fire on policy requirements for social rent housing, space standards, rent and service charge levels, and pursuing the fight against tenure segregation.

The enormity of the current proposals must be understood, and their content rejected.  

Comment for resident respondents: It would be useful and much appreciated if you could support our bid to be called to give evidence to the Select Committee in person.

Kind regards

Paul Burnham, Secretary, Haringey Defend Council Housing

haringey_dch@outlook.com

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