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CPRE reflects on Government's planning announcement

10 July 2015

The Government is today announcing plans to increase housebuilding as part of a productivity drive.  

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), reflects on the announcements:

On Government intention to intervene when local plans are not coming forward  

“With so few councils having post-2012 local plans in place, the Government’s move is understandable. At the same time, our research has shown that the main reason local plans are being delayed is because developers are challenging the housing numbers at every step.

“To ensure councils can bring in community-led plans quickly, the Government must show its support for councils that aim for realistic numbers of new homes in their area. It is also welcome that the Government has been strong on the importance of Green Belt this morning, but it must now show intent to back local authorities who cannot meet estimated numbers without building on the Green Belt or in protected areas.

“To gain genuine community support for plans, the Government should give more support – and more money – to neighbourhood planning.”

 

On plans to increase speed of brownfield development

“It is good that the Government is emphasising its support for brownfield redevelopment and small builders, as urban regeneration is vital to thriving cities and a living countryside. However, planning permission isn’t the main problem with getting sites developed. There is a gap of about 30-40% between the number of plots with planning permission and the number of plots where building starts in a given year. About 10-20% of plots with planning permission do not start at all.

“To achieve the development we want and need on brownfield land, the Government should implement a ‘brownfield first’ rule at the heart of planning to prioritise urban redevelopment and leave behind the unsustainable status quo – where developers cherry pick green fields for development. Communities must also be involved from the start to ensure good design, and it is desperately important that new developments include a significant amount of affordable housing.”

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