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Mon June 21 2021

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House-builder demands training for councillors

28 May A housing developer fed up with no-nothing amateurs deciding what gets built is calling for change.

It's called democracy. Aireborough Urban District Council, circa 1972.
It's called democracy. Aireborough Urban District Council, circa 1972.

Inland Homes says that planning committee members should be made to go on a course so they know what they are doing.

Inland bosses believe that it should be a requirement for at least 50% of the people on every local authority planning committee to have a formal planning qualification.

Inland Homes has been frustrated by democratically-elected local representatives not always letting it have everything its own way. Developers usually get their way in the end, it acknowledges, but it would be quicker and better if local politicians didn’t try to hold things up.

The developer cites a recent application to build 50 new homes on a site allocated within the adopted Local Plan, and with 24 of the homes designated as affordable. The planning officers at the council recommended it go ahead but the planning committee turned it down.

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“The planning system is failing in its current form and urgent reform is needed in order to alleviate the current housing crisis,” said Inland Homes chief executive Stephen Wicks. “But if planning reform is also to work, urgent attention also needs to be given to the people charged with implementing that reform.”

He said: “Too often we see policy compliant schemes, recommended for approval by planning officers, arbitrarily rejected at committee hearing. While appeal usually results in these decisions being overturned, each delay slows our ability to address the ongoing shortage of critically needed affordable homes.

 “Others across the industry are experiencing the same frustrations and we urge them to add their name to the petition and join our campaign today.”

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