And yet: “planning remains a good thing. Mostly, we only realise that when it is not applied.”
To reiterate what’s been said before:
The government wants to stimulate the construction industry:
And there’s a certain impatience to get going:
The Housing Minister writes in today’s Telegraph:
As reported later by the BBC:
New homes to get ‘automatic’ permission in England planning shake-up
New homes and hospitals will be granted “automatic” permission to be built as part of sweeping planning reforms in England, the housing secretary says. Robert Jenrick announced a “permission in principle” will be given to developments on land designated “for renewal” to speed-up building. It comes after the PM pledged £5bn to “build, build, build” to help soften the economic impact of coronavirus.
Shelter has warned against any reforms that lead to “bad-quality” housing. The homeless charity has said 280,000 homes received permission in England between 2011 and 2016 but were never built…
BBC Reality Check said there had been criticism in recent years of the amount of time it takes to get planning permission. But it also noted that many developers secure planning permission and then do not immediately build. In 2017-18, 382,997 applications were granted, which would be more than enough to meet the government target of 300,000 new homes a year…
The i newspaper also voices concerns:
The Housing Secretary has announced that new homes will get ‘automatic’ permission to be built, but we can’t just green light unsafe atrocities
… planning remains a good thing. Mostly, we only realise that when it is not applied: “How did they get permission for that?” I don’t want my neighbours digging a basement, adding a fourth floor or a giant terrace overlooking me. None of us wants our streets to lose their unifying “character”.
Yes, planning should speed up and society desperately needs new homes, but to start from a place where permission is assumed is a danger both to our safety and the environment.