STOP THE DEVELOPERS HAVING IT ALL THEIR OWN WAY
TO: THE RT. HON. ERIC PICKLES MP & THE RT. HON. NICK BOLES MP
Campaign created by Diane Odell
Put on hold for 12 months decisions by the Planning Inspectorate in respect of the speculative developments by Gladman and others which are outside the settlement boundaries of the old District Plan and which are being pursued because the new Local District Plan has not yet been finalised.
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Why is this important?
I have come to this from a local angle but this is a problem throughout England. My name is Diane Odell and I live in Leonard Stanley a small rural village of c.650 houses situated in the Stroud valleys and I am a member of an action group fighting the proposed outline consent for development of a large field (the ploughed field in the foreground of the photo) which separates us from the next village and would result in joining the two villages. The proposal is for 150 houses but this is likely to increase to 250. There is overwhelming objection to this development in both villages.
This is not an isolated fight. Up and down the Country the same is happening. Predatory developers are using a time frame to try to force through planning applications which in other times would be immediately rejected and Parliament is allowing this to happen. Within the Stroud valleys there are three other proposed speculative developments. Two, including our own, are with Gladman the other two with Lioncourt Homes Ltd. All these developments are on green fields and would have been rejected under the old Local District Plan and would be equally rejected under the proposed new plan. A huge amount of time and resources is being used to fend off these unwelcome. proposed property developments.
This is happening because the Local Plan giving details as to where houses could be built were saved where they did not repeat national planning advice or regional planning policy at that time. Here in Stroud a new local plan was being drawn up when the Government introduced the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in March 2012. This required that local councils had to take these policies into account from that date and delay was introduced by the need to to review the evidence base and emerging draft policies. This was further compounded by the abolition of the Regional Spatial Plans that removed a tier of planning policies. In the first 12 months following publication of the NPPF, decision makers were able to give full weight to existing planning policies, even if there was a limited degree of conflict. However, from 27th March 2013, councils that have not yet adopted a new local plan will only be able to give due weight to relevant policies in existing plans according to their degree of consistency with the NPPF.
An election in May 2012altered the balance of power in the District Council and thus the effective time to draw up the new Local District Plan was reduced to 10 months. This time limit has proved to be insufficient. According to a recent article in Planning Magazine, around half of all English Councils are plan-less following the end of the NPPF 12 month transition period. This suggests the time period was too short.
MPs blame local Councils, Local Councillors blame Government. Whatever the rights and wrongs may be the people who are getting hurt by this are ordinary people. We are the ones together with our children and grandchildren who will have to live with the results of this ad hoc building which is allowing the likes of Gladman & Lioncourt to destroy our countryside and communities. Gladman certainly appears to believe it has been given the green light to force through these developments. They are riding roughshod over local communities, our Parish Councillors and District Councillors with the sole aim of getting their plans before the Planning Inspectorate where they believe they will get what they want.
Yes, of course, we need new homes but we need these built in accordance with an agreed Local Plan that can reflect local aspirations and the need for growth. The introduction to the NPPF states ” (The NPPF) provides a framework within which local people and their accountable councils can produce their own distinctive local and neighbourhood plans, which reflect the needs and priorities of their communities”. What is happening here is in complete contravention of this policy.
I am asking you to please support my campaign to halt for a 12 month period decisions by the Planning Inspectorate on these green field sites where building would not normally have been permitted under the old Local Plans and allow the democratic procedure to draw to a conclusion. Sites that accord with the NPPF and are identified in the Local Plan should ensure that sites outside the new settlement boundaries will be better protected by local plan policies and supported by the local communities. This approach will more closely reflect the Localism agenda in a meaningful and consistent manner. PLEASE VOTE to help my community and the many others similarly affected to determine our own future.