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Decentralisation And Localism Bill

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I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find a thread and wanted to post this link:

http://www.insidehou...6510503.article

Plans to give communities the power to build homes without planning permission will be included in legislation to go before Parliament this autumn. Housing minister Grant Shapps has said legislation to allow the creation of local housing trusts will be included in the forthcoming Decentralisation and Localism Bill. Local housing trusts would be able to build homes as long as they can demonstrate they have the support of the community, and meet basic planning requirements, but would not have to apply for formal planning permission.

Earlier this week chancellor George Osborne suggested local people could be incentivised to back the development of new homes by reductions in their council tax. The government has previously said it will give local authorities who build new homes a payment worth 100 per cent of council tax revenues from the homes for six years after completion. For affordable homes, the payment rises to 125 per cent. Mr Shapps said: 'In opposition I said that if we won the election we would start a revolution – where communities would get involved in providing homes for themselves. Today it's time to start that revolution.'

Under local housing trusts the land used for development would be retained by the trust, and any profits would be reinvested in the community.

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This will probably make it more difficult to build homes since 'local communities' are more likely to be opposed to new housing development than planners are.

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This will probably make it more difficult to build homes since 'local communities' are more likely to be opposed to new housing development than planners are.

Quite

At the mo the block is (elected) councillors on planning committees, responding to the pressures put on them by their electorate. Anyone who's ever been to a planning meeting where there is strong local opposition will know that it's a brave planning committee indeed that makes a locally-unpopular decision - which is why the recommendations of the council's employed planning dept are often not acted on.

This idea seems to totally ignore the realities of how local planning actually works. If it removes the democratic oversight of what gets built where then it's going to cause friction; if it doesn't change it then it's pointless.

Edited by Mal Volio

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As an additional comment, part of what local councils do is have local development plans to make building strategy coherent over an area. This proposal seems to allow housing trusts to build what they want, where they want, with no regard for the wider impact.

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This will probably make it more difficult to build homes since 'local communities' are more likely to be opposed to new housing development than planners are.

I don't know the full details of the process - but I always assumed that local planning committees were dominated by nimbys out of proportion to the community as a whole

therefore this policy just looks like circumventing the committees' ability to veto the planning process

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Quite

At the mo the block is (elected) councillors on planning committees, responding to the pressures put on them by their electorate. Anyone who's ever been to a planning meeting where there is strong local opposition will know that it's a brave planning committee indeed that makes a locally-unpopular decision - which is why the recommendations of the council's employed planning dept are often not acted on.

the trouble with what you say above is that it does nto reflect democratic oversight - it instead reflects local vested interest groups

This idea seems to totally ignore the realities of how local planning actually works. If it removes the democratic oversight of what gets built where then it's going to cause friction; if it doesn't change it then it's pointless.

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the trouble with what you say above is that it does nto reflect democratic oversight - it instead reflects local vested interest groups

<shrugs>

It's probably always so that those who are most exercised/engaged will be the ones whose voices are heard. Call it vested interest, or democracy. It's like anything - if most people don't much care either way, then those that do get to slug it out.

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<shrugs>

It's probably always so that those who are most exercised/engaged will be the ones whose voices are heard. Call it vested interest, or democracy. It's like anything - if most people don't much care either way, then those that do get to slug it out.

yep

problem is that the mid-20s couples working 2 full time wages to pay the mortgage don't get the time to attend

but they do get just as many general election votes as everyone else, I wonder if this isn't democracy working in a more subtle way?

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yep

problem is that the mid-20s couples working 2 full time wages to pay the mortgage don't get the time to attend

I dunno. Planning meetings are in the evening, and even if you can't go you just talk to your local councillor and get you views known. It's pretty low-effort if it's something that you're engaged with

I wonder if this isn't democracy working in a more subtle way?

Doubt it. The existing process is pretty open, and as accessible as it probably can be - accepting of course that those with strong views and loudest voices will always go the extra mile. The strong-of-view doubtless would be also at the front of the queue to make their views known to the housing trust anyway, and the loudest objectors if those views were not to prevail.

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How about buying agro land for building on? Will that be changed in this bill, I wonder?

If the NIMBYs are the problem, it's best not to be next door to them at all! ;)

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Local housing trusts would be able to build homes as long as they can demonstrate they have the support of the community,

So local housing trusts get a fast-track option, but the rest of us have to go the old-fashioned slow way? Who wants to take a wager that these housing trusts aren't infiltrated by the likes of Persimmon and Barrats?

Just how does the local community express their need (or lack thereof) for this housing? Methinks this gives the red light to the big developers to slap up slave-boxes at minimum cost on greenfield sites (cheaper) for maximum price in "desirable" neighbourhoods.

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A couple of thoughts:

1: Where do these Local housing Trusts get the land to build on? Do they pay the market price?

2: Is this opening the door for whole villages to jump aboard a new "Build To Let" waggon?

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(...)

Just how does the local community express their need (or lack thereof) for this housing?

(...)

Apparently 90% will have to be in favour.

This might mean unless more than 10% actually write in to object to it, this counts as 90% in favour.

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I dunno. Planning meetings are in the evening, and even if you can't go you just talk to your local councillor and get you views known. It's pretty low-effort if it's something that you're engaged with

Doubt it. The existing process is pretty open, and as accessible as it probably can be - accepting of course that those with strong views and loudest voices will always go the extra mile. The strong-of-view doubtless would be also at the front of the queue to make their views known to the housing trust anyway, and the loudest objectors if those views were not to prevail.

well we could argue all night - low effort is a relative term when you're both working full time and have children

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Housing minister Grant Shapps has said legislation to allow the creation of local housing trusts will be included in the forthcoming Decentralisation and Localism Bill.

I guess we'll have to wait to find out what the mechanism will be for creating "local housing trusts", first of all.

Then we'll have to see where the trusts will get their money from, what land they will be allowed to buy, what kind of houses they'll be allowed to build and with what kind of tenure.

Also, if they're houses for sale on the open market, how the "local community" will prevent them being bought by holiday home owners, landlords etc., either straight from the trust or from whoever buys them from the trust initially.

Bets on "local housing trusts" being taken over by the local wide boys and turned into a money-making machine?

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I guess we'll have to wait to find out what the mechanism will be for creating "local housing trusts", first of all.

Then we'll have to see where the trusts will get their money from, what land they will be allowed to buy, what kind of houses they'll be allowed to build and with what kind of tenure.

Also, if they're houses for sale on the open market, how the "local community" will prevent them being bought by holiday home owners, landlords etc., either straight from the trust or from whoever buys them from the trust initially.

Bets on "local housing trusts" being taken over by the local wide boys and turned into a money-making machine?

in my mind they sounded like private not-for-profit organisations - why would they need state funding?

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in my mind they sounded like private not-for-profit organisations - why would they need state funding?

I didn't say they'd have state funding - I asked where they'd get their money from.

Presumably they'd have to borrow money from somewhere and repay it from the sale of the houses.

So, exactly like house building companies such as Barratt et al.

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Just how does the local community express their need (or lack thereof) for this housing?

Right now, there's an established democratic mechanism for doing this. Yes it requires you to get off your ****, but then any effective mechanism is going to.

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Right now, there's an established democratic mechanism for doing this. Yes it requires you to get off your ****, but then any effective mechanism is going to.

So all the local people in Cornwall that have been complaining loudly and repeatedly about not wanting Londoners inflating the cost of local housing and leaving it empty for most of the year while their own children can't afford a place were not getting off their ****?

This will simple mean that in some areas nothing will get built as the NIMBY's have control and in other areas the Persimon hit squad will infiltrate and control the process so they and only they can build. Of course if they have a few unsold slave boxes they won't build anything until they are sold.

Meanwhile if you want to do a self build you will still have no chance.

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So all the local people in Cornwall that have been complaining loudly and repeatedly about not wanting Londoners inflating the cost of local housing and leaving it empty for most of the year while their own children can't afford a place were not getting off their ****?

Is that necessarily a planning issue ?

If it is the case that lots of houses are being built specifically as second homes then yes, they should be out there objecting if they don't like it. More likely is that builders only want to build bourgie houses because the margins are better, so that's what the planning applications are for.

If we're talking about sales of existing houses - it's a different issue.

This will simple mean that in some areas nothing will get built as the NIMBY's have control and in other areas the Persimon hit squad will infiltrate and control the process so they and only they can build. Of course if they have a few unsold slave boxes they won't build anything until they are sold.

Meanwhile if you want to do a self build you will still have no chance.

agreed, on both counts.

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Id favoure some system where planning requirements are less stringent and land values have a maximum price (ie £25k per 1/4 acre) for low carbon homes - due to the cost of geothermal heating, solar panels and other stuff it doesnt seem worthwhile building them otherwise.

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I didn't say they'd have state funding - I asked where they'd get their money from.

Presumably they'd have to borrow money from somewhere and repay it from the sale of the houses.

So, exactly like house building companies such as Barratt et al.

whoops - my bad

a 'trust' implies a more social constitution, dissimilar to Barratt plc, and perhaps even build better houses - maybe financially associated with building societies? just a thought

Edited by Si1

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Is that necessarily a planning issue ?

If it is the case that lots of houses are being built specifically as second homes then yes, they should be out there objecting if they don't like it. More likely is that builders only want to build bourgie houses because the margins are better, so that's what the planning applications are for.

If we're talking about sales of existing houses - it's a different issue.

Yes.

If the planners say this land is for crops, then lo it is good and the land will be for crops.

If the planners say this land is residential building and you shall build 37 luxury apartments on this postage stamp, then lo, 37 luxury apartments will be built.

If the planners say...

If the planners really want affordable to locals housing it would be provided. Not the first time you have heard the term 'affordable housing' is it?

Guess what, the planners decide on the amount of 'affordable housing'.

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Yes.

Or: no.

If the planners say this land is for crops, then lo it is good and the land will be for crops.

Yep

If the planners say this land is residential building and you shall build 37 luxury apartments on this postage stamp, then lo, 37 luxury apartments will be built.

Nope. Not how it works. People apply for specific planning permissions for what they wish to build; planners don;t spontaneously decide on what has to be built where. They can't command that houses of a certain size be built if no-one wants to actually build them there

If the planners really want affordable to locals housing it would be provided. Not the first time you have heard the term 'affordable housing' is it?

Guess what, the planners decide on the amount of 'affordable housing'.

Nope.

Planning committees often try to get a mix of "affordable housing" into bourgie developments, but they can't go beyond what the developer will agree too; most developers will pitch in the minimum amount of affordable housing into a development to get PP, and then move heaven & earth to avoid building it.

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