Christmas carols and lights for the Scouts

Mulled wine, hot dogs, mince pies and cakes.  Marvellous music from the Rode Hall brass band, Carols and a visit from Santa.  All add up to a wonderful start to Christmas and a snapshot of village life.  Well done all.

Gladman in the news “no win no fee”

Green fields hit by ‘no win, no fee’ developers

A PROPERTY developer who offers landowners a “no win, no fee” deal has submitted plans for more than 16,000 homes on greenfield sites across the country — including a development in the prime minister’s constituency.

Gladman, a land agency based in Congleton, Cheshire, has 108 developments either under planning consideration or already approved and has submitted plans for 270 homes in Witney, Oxfordshire, where David Cameron is the MP.

Conservationists fear that no win, no fee deals present a new threat to the green belt.

They have accused Gladman of being “confrontational” by ignoring the objections of residents and exploiting “loopholes” in the government’s relaxation of planning rules under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  Sunday Times 30th Nov 2014  Click image to enlarge then Ctrl+

Sunday Times 30 Nov 2014

Sunday Times 30 Nov 2014

20141130 S Times2

Clock is ticking for Local Plan

Cheshire East Leader on BBC1’s Sunday Politics today told Arif Ansari that with the delay of the Local Plan CE now plans to “Go forward hard on Neighbourhood Plans, fast tracking 14 with others on the way”.
Esther McVey seemed to dodge the question when Arif asked if perhaps part of the problem was the government putting “presumption in favour” of planning in the NPPF so that Cheshire East can’t control the developers.  She replied that what the government is about “is making sure that people on the ground” can have a say, “because everyone is talking about localism”.  Tricky for locals to have their say with no Local Plan, no 5 yr supply and an NPPF that favours development.
As Arif said, the clock is ticking.

How the “5 yr supply” is manipulated

Greenfield housing developers are manipulating the opportunities opened by the requirement for councils to maintain a five-year land supply by banking permissions, making slow starts on them, then demanding new sites be released as these are not “deliverable”, MPs have heard.

In the latest of a very long line of Westminster Hall debates secured by Conservative back-benchers to criticise the Government’s promotion of greenfield sprawl, Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes set out the damage being done to her constituency by this practice.

The MP “requested this debate specifically about housing land supply and local authorities’ difficulties in seeking to uphold robust and well-considered planning policies in the face of repeated and determined speculative applications by developers, who are consistently using the requirement for a five-year housing land supply to their own advantage, rather than to the advantage of local residents and would-be home owners.”

She compared the practice to taking a slice out of a cake then moving on to another, ruining the whole cake and satisfying nobody’s appetites.   “This is not good planning,” she said. “It is not plan-led, but led by speculation and greed, helping only the developers, and certainly not those seeking to buy their own homes in this desirable part of the country.”  She said that, for four years, developments in Test Valley Borough Council’s area had been justified on the basis of its lack of a “deliverable five-year supply” and the supposed ability of yet another site to make up the shortfall.

But if all the unused permissions across the south of the borough were to be built up, there would be over seven years’ supply.

“The housing land supply figures are too easily influenced by developers simply either changing their forecasts on permitted sites or not bringing sites forward at all, or else not as quickly as was forecast,” she said.  She cited numerous examples and other Hampshire MPs queued up to confirm the problem.

But planning minister Brandon Lewis …. Continue reading