Giving residents the right to vote for more housing

Giving local people the power to set their own local development rules in suburban areas.

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Back in the spring, a think tank put together proposals “enabling streets to control their own development”:

https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Strong-Suburbs.pdf

Policy Exchange report: Allow residents to vote on plans for ‘gentle densification’ of their streets | planningresource.co.uk (paywall)

As the summer progressed, the government and the new housing minister began to embrace this:

This week, a group of Tory MPs formally proposed edits to the Planning Bill to include street votes.

Neighbours will be given a vote on what new houses look like | telegraph.co.uk (paywall)

And now the government is seriously supporting these moves:

Gove backs ‘cracking’ plans for street votes on suburban development

The ‘street votes’ concept, first proposed by think tank Policy Exchange, would give local people the power to set their own local development rules in suburban areas. The housing secretary told the House of Commons last week he backed a bill being brought forward by backbench Tory MP John Penrose aiming to bring the proposal to life.

Under the original proposals, a ‘street plan’ submitted to the local council by 20 per cent of residents or 10 different properties would trigger a referendum on its adoption. If the plan passed, residents would receive automatic planning permission for new homes or extensions. Supporters of the idea argue it could turn ‘Nimbys into Yimbys’ by giving those who might usually oppose new schemes an opportunity to benefit financially from increased development.

Gove backs ‘cracking’ plans for street votes on suburban development | architectsjournal.co.uk

The weekend’s i-newspaper went into suburbia to test the idea – and it was not universally welcomed:

‘Street votes’ could make residents instant millionaires if they back more house building | inews.co.uk

photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1930s_suburbia,Wollatongeograph.org.uk-_1040735.jpg

   
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