Anyone who follows the national news will’ve heard about the Government’s consultation on changes to planning policy.
The consultation period comes to an end today and although it is not obligatory, the Isle of Wight council have submitted a response to the Government.
The documents make an interesting read, revealing further details about national and local planning policy. Just one example was the news that there are no designated greenbelt areas on the Island.
The aims are to simplify the process
The council say they welcome “the aim to simplify the planning process and slim down the abundance of planning policy guidance”, but highlight the following issues in order to support employment and regeneration on the Island.
- Serious concerns over the apparent suggestion that employment allocations/sites should not be protected. If this were the case it would be likely to lead to a very swift rush to obtain consents for higher value use, resulting in the loss of employment sites.
- The lack of clarity on the issue of a 5 year land supply for housing, particularly the right to refuse applications where a 5 year land supply can be demonstrated and proposals on unsustainable sites come forward.
- The need for an additional 20% of housing supply over and above the 5 year supply would appear to be a fairly arbitrary figure. It is the view of the Council that in any case that it is the role of windfall sites to provide choice and flexibility within the housing supply.
- The lack of reference to enforcement, particularly given the specific mention of enforcement within the Localism Bill. Particular reference should be made to the local authority role of determining whether it is expedient to enforce against a particular breach of planning consent.
- The need for a consistent definition of “infrastructure” to provide clarity for communities and developers with regard to what it encompasses. This is particularly relevant when local authorities develop their Community Infrastructure Levy’s, which will be the major source of funding for infrastructure projects in the future.
- The apparent focus of attention on “blaming” planning for delaying growth, without any recognition that market conditions and economic climate play a vastly influential role in terms of financing growth and viability of proposals.
Read the papers
For those interested in reading more about the proposals and the reasons behind the council’s response, we’ve embedded the documents below for your convenience.