Member of No 10 Policy Board strongly criticises Gov. Planning Policy.

Mr Nadhim Zahawi MP has strongly criticised the resulting effects of the Government’s changes to the Planning rules and says that they are causing ” massive, irreversible damage to the countryside”,    and that rural communities are “under siege ”   by “rapacious developers “.

Does that sound familiar to you ?

It is believed that Mr Cameron is not pleased by this strong intervention by a member of the No 10 Policy Board.  Mr Boles has already rejected his criticism, so no surprises there then.  Mr Zahawi also added  that, –    “The defining legacy of this Government would be physical harm to the countryside”.

If you want to read the full Daily Telegraph article then it is at this link

Further to the above, the undeniable elephant in the drawing room is the FLOODING problem associated with mass house building of the kind being encouraged by the Government. Our climate may well be changing but the results of higher rainfall are made much worse by relaxing the rules on Planning and allowing the building of new houses on Flood Plains.  A reader of this blog, Mr Nick Harvey has sent in this very useful link to a BBC news item on the disarray in Government on this issue.  There is also a very useful Daily Telegraph article concerning the fact that many new houses have already been built in flood risk areas against the EA advice. Surely the Government is responsible for this disastrous situation because they should have ensured that EA advice cannot be ignored.  The link is here.

As a final piece of information, please take the time to read this document which anyone can find on the website of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). It is so clear about the precautionary principle when allowing house building that it is staggering that Local Authorities appear to have ignored its advice. The document is here:-ABI-Flood-risketc

Perhaps we should all email this document to our District Councillors and MPs and demand that they should consider local residents BEFORE they consider already rich and powerful developers.

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2 Responses to Member of No 10 Policy Board strongly criticises Gov. Planning Policy.

  1. inholms says:

    Inholms Cottage
    Coos lane
    Slaugham
    West Sussex
    RH17 6AD

    Sir,

    I have been following the debate in the West Sussex Times regarding new housing developments in the county. I, like many it would seem, have just woken up to the enormity of the problem. I live in the Slaugham Parish, which includes the villages of Handcross, Warninglid, Peas Pottage and Slaugham. Until recently these villages have enjoyed peaceful tranquility with everyone living in peace with the neighbouring villages.
    This has now changed with the introduction of the of the 2011 localism Act and the requirement for Parish Councils to prepare a neighbourhood plan. In our case, until now, the Parish Council has done an excellent job of doing all the things that Parish Councils do, i.e. Mowing the verges, reporting faulty street lights, etc. its very good that there are such public spirited people who volunteer to do this work.
    Where it all went wrong was when Parish Councils were asked to prepare the Neighbourhood Plan. Initially it seems quite logical as the councillors are the ‘people on the ground’ but in reality, very naive as few local councillors have the knowledge or expertise to undertake such a huge task, but instead of saying so at the outset, our Parish Council,and it seems most others across the country, gallantly took on the task. I know that our PC has spent a huge amount of time and money preparing their plan.
    It is only now that as the plans start to be published across the country that the enormity of the naivety becomes apparent. Our PC steamed ahead with their plans and for unknown reasons,but maybe due to the lack of communication skills, failed to explain their plan to the community. It was only after their plan was published that most of the community suddenly realised that there was a plan to build a huge number of houses almost in their gardens, in a totally unacceptable location . This has caused a conflict within the villages as there have been no proposals for any houses to be built in Slaugham and Warninglid. There is now considerable animosity between the once peaceful villages and I predict it will intensify as the Parish Council refuses to retract their plan.

    This is another example of Government passing legislation without thinking it through. It is utter folly to expect keen amateur volunteers to undertake such an onerous task. It is even more folly for PC ‘s to take it on and as we see these plans being unveiled across the country, the fiasco we are experiencing in Slaugham Parish is going to happen across the country.
    It’s going to be an interesting 2014.

    Colin Smith

  2. VAG says:

    You have raised a very interesting point. You are correct in saying that the Government has not thought it through, but that could apply to many of their ideas at present. The Localism Act is not being protected as a Planning control method because the Government has not blocked speculative development while a Local Plan is being prepared. Is this an act of stupidity or is it by design ?

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