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Demolition of planning system a massive win for developers

August 7, 2020 7:09 AM
By Oliver Holmes
Big developers, major donors to the Tory party, have welcomed proposals to scrap the existing planning system in proposals which are being sold to the public as the solution to more housing for the young homeless. The new market oriented system closely follows the details provided in a paper by Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank secretly funded by corporate and private lobbying groups - and almost certainly including the big developers. A de-regulated zonal system will remove residents' rights to object and is yet another assault on local democracy.
All the largest environmental and heritage groups are outraged and have pointed out that there is no evidence whatsoever to show these changes will improve housing supply. The Local Government Association points out that there are existing planning permissions for more than one million homes which have not even been started. The Minister introducing these changes, Robert Jenrick, owns a number of high-end properties that he has developed himself and is mired in what is known as the Westferry Scandal where, in granting a controversial application, he agreed he had acted unlawfully.
Cllr. Oliver Holmes, who sits on the Ipswich BC Planning Committee, is very concerned at the loss of local democratic involvement and comments: "The real reason we have such an appalling record on building homes is the speculative building system controlled by the big developers and these proposals will only increase their power and control. No wonder they are delighted."
Oliver Holmes