NPPF forces LPAs to abandon brownfield housing sites

Published in March 2013, a survey entitled “Local Planning at Risk: Is the NPPF delivering planning for people?“, carried out by the Local Government Information Unit [LGiU] in partnership with the National Trust, reveals that 60% of the local planning authority senior local government politicians and officials surveyed “disagree or strongly disagree that the introduction of the NPPF has had a positive impact on their ability to deliver a Local Plan that reflects local concerns and priorities”.  Furthermore, respondents to the survey suggested that “the Planning Inspectorate, through the examination process, is prioritising development over the views of local people”. Continue reading


It’s dirty work finding land

I was ​interested to listen to an interview on Radio 4 You and Yours ​(Friday 28 Dec 2013) where the BBC’s ​Winifred Robinson discussed house building with Dr. Mark Clapson, a reader in History, University of Westminster who failed to identify that it is the Government via the NPPF that is driving the new house building pressure and focused on the building of new towns on a combination of brownfield and greenfield land as currently being investigated by the Labour Party, who are accusing the house builders of hoarding land. Continue reading

What is a SHMA?

If you type “what is a SHMA?” into popular Internet search engines, among other things a list of hundreds of local authority web pages will be presented to you, all describing the role that a Strategic Housing Market Assessment study [SHMA] is playing in helping them determine the number of houses they will need to plan to build over the forthcoming years of their local plan, how they have gone about it and what it means for their community. Continue reading

New group to protect Guildford Green Belt emerges

A new grouping of residents associations, community groups and parish councils has formed to promote protection of the Green Belt in the face of the intent of the Guildford Local Plan (Draft) to take 16 of the borough’s 24 villages out of the Green Belt and stuff them full of new houses.

Nominally “Guildford Green Belt Guardians” [GGBG], they will first challenge the basis of the new Strategic Housing Market Assessment [SHMA] study commissioned by Guildford Borough Council.  The SHMA will determine objectively assessed housing need and the future number of new homes to be built over the 15 year period of the Guildford Local Plan. Continue reading