3 thoughts on “Planning – killing four birds with one stone”

  1. Posted 18/10/2013 at 13:32 | Permalink

    “100 per cent of all government spending for child care goes on cash benefits for child care and zero on building nurseries”. It’s worse. 100 per cent of all government spending to help with buying food and weekly essentials goes on Income Support & JSA, and zero on building supermarkets.

  2. Posted 29/10/2013 at 13:06 | Permalink

    1) Abolish all planning laws, except for certain types of facilities (power plants, sewage works etc), and certain areas (e.g. areas of outstanding natural beauty, areas of ecological significance)
    2) Relax building regulations (ideally we would have different organisations producing competing building regs, and builders/home buyers would pick the one they wanted)
    3) Use common-law offence of Nuisance to arbitrate disputes between parties, where one party has built/altered a structure so that it causes a loss to the other party (ASI have developed this idea more).

    Hey presto, new planning policy.

    Outcomes:
    1) People are allowed to do as they please on their own property, so long as they do not cause a nuisance/loss to another
    2) No hold-ups due from lack of planning permission
    3) Massively increases supply of land to be developed, thus lowering prices across the board
    4) Owners no longer need to apply for Change of Use for a building, meaning the real estate market is much more dynamic

  3. Posted 08/11/2013 at 17:17 | Permalink

    While it seems intuitive to build more homes, the Coalitions blunderbuss approach has removed choice from local people who are in the best place to understand their local market needs. Therefore localism in planning is VERY sick and we are ruled by centralist policies mediated through Planning Inspectors.

    In the Southwest we have been forced to cater for the overspill of people from the Southeast.

    Farmland, by its increased price, has made it second only to gold as a speculative investment.

    The combined result has been to drive homes beyond the value of 11 times annual earnings for local people.

    However there is no evidence that building on the scale we are being forced to accept has any effect on house price escalation. The prices are simply not falling yet real disposable income is.

    Therefore our only local approach is to insist on a proportion of affordable homes which can create a sub-market for local people to rent or buy after a period of renting. The NPPF and Planning policies from the Coalition has weakened even this by allowing viability issues to degrade affordable housing policies.

    Is the Coalition’s obsession with house-building sustainable? No – not if we continue to destroy productive farmland and export a high proportion of basic agricultural products.

    These policies are creating a very fragile economic, environmental and particularly a fragile social problem. What we need is more local value-added production of food and related products and housing driven by local needs first.

    Therefore help as recommended by Philip Booth to home-buyers is certainly one way forward; but only if we avoid a housing debt bubble when interest rates rise. If not we re-enter boom-bust economics and promote personal tragedies.

    What we need therefore is fiscal stability and a reasonable localism and social planning policy approach. We can then develop despite the change and turbulence of the world economic changes. We know that these are created by BRIC countries’ growth and the Arab countries with high oil revenues, who collectively now own most of the liquid financial assets (as mapped by Harvard Business review)

    So If the primary concerns people have are not just the cost of living, the level of unemployment and the fall in real wages, even less the issue of productivity, but how to afford the housing which has become such a major part of the household budget

    Liberalising land-use planning is certainly not a major part of the solution to all these problems, it is a factor which could worsen the situation outside the south-east by destroying the environment, rural economy and the ease of moving house to get a job, therefore freezing most of us into local enclaves which are unable to exercise democratic rights nor responsibilities.

    This is why we regard the 43% reduction in Local Government expenditure compared to the real cuts of less than 15% in the central Civil Service as unacceptable.

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