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James Gibbs and Paul Gillespie explain more...
Government pledge to put growth at heart of planning system
Date: 20th January 2011
Developers will be given the green light to build "whatever, wherever and whenever" they want if communities fail to put growth at the centre of their local plans.
Speaking at an industry seminar John Howell MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Clark as Minister of State for Decentralisation, said the coalition's presumption in favour of sustainable development would be a "golden thread" running through the new planning system.
Howell said councils that failed to plan for new development would be "assumed to have a completely permissive planning system."
A developer could then build "what they like, where they like and when they like" provided they meet new national planning guidance being worked up in tandem with the localism bill.
“I think that it is an extremely good incentive for councils,” he said: “When we have got waiting lists for housing and a community that doesn’t want to build anything that does not meet the sustainability test.”
Welcoming the remarks Liz Peace chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: "The property industry's greatest fear was that the localism agenda would lead to greater NIMBYism.
"John's comments have gone some way to easing these concerns with a clear emphasis on localism being used as a vehicle to drive growth and development rather than encouraging communities to opt out, effectively putting a leash on economic growth."
Paul Gillespie, Founding Partner of multi award winning estate agents Gibbs Gillespie said: “I welcome the remarks from John Howell but would add a note of caution in that words in themselves are cheap and it will be the actions that follow that really count. No-one denies that getting the balance between allowing greater development, sustainability and sensible planning is difficult and often at conflict between local needs for growth and local views on restricting development.”
For further media information contact Jo Ryan on 020 8869 9863.