Thursday, 5 December 2013
Planning topics in the Autumn Statement
For reasons that I have never been able to understand, George Osborne loves making announcements about changes in planning law and practice that the government is proposing to introduce. Despite his remit being strictly financial and economic, Gorgeous George has never hesitated to trample on Uncle Eric’s turf, not to mention the territory of various other ministers, whenever he wants to big up his role as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Saviour of the British Economy...
Another little wheeze is to withhold the New Homes Bonus where planning permissions are granted on appeal rather than by the authority itself. So yet more grief for NIMBY-loving Tory councillors in the green and pleasant land of Middle England. This is part of a general review of the New Homes Bonus, which is intended to be completed by Easter 2014.
Some possible sugaring of the pill for NIMBYs is offered by a suggestion that the ‘bribes’ to accept new development offered to councils (in the form of the New Homes Bonus and the neighbourhood funding element of the Community Infrastructure Levy) might be extended to individual households in the affected areas. The government clearly hasn’t figured out yet how this might work, but it conjures up the intriguing possibility that NIMBYs might be directly bribed (officially and above-board, of course) not to object to development in their own backyard.
This echoes concerns about 'bribes' being offered to - or withdrawn from - Councils:
Futures Forum: 'Planning gain' - the replacement for S106 cash from developers - the Community Infrastructure Levy - but is it still 'bribery' by a different name?
Futures Forum: Payments and patronage in East Devon
Cllr Claire Wright reports on the District Council's own concerns about the Chancellor's proposals:
EDDC committee will protest about “planning bribes”