On Tuesday we had an important debate about housebuilding and local plans. Several of us made the point that local and neighbourhood plans can be outflanked by developers using the appeal system. Where a Council has concentrated development on a few sites to maximise the development gain payments and to ensure proper infrastructure provision, the developer can go slow on the build rate. This can lead an Inspector to grant permission for more homes in a place where the local community and Council did not want to build.
The truth is that having an up to date Local Plan and supporting Neighbourhood Plans does not fully protect areas where a community does not seek more building. The best defence a Council has comes through working closely with developers that do have planning permission to try to keep the build rate at the required level.
THe Minister promised to tackle this problem by relaxing the rule over the 5 year supply of land.