Change Government Policy that allows Developers to destroy our Villages & Green Spaces
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Currently under the terms set out in the National Planning Framework Policy which dictates the requirements for housing development in the UK to which all Local Authorities have to abide, developers have been given the power to force LA's to offer up a minimum of 5 years land supply for development. Under the policy LA's with little or no land availability can pass on their statutory requirements for housing to a neighboring authority, this is leading development directly to our villages & green spaces. The 5 year land supply makes no allowances for sites that have been given approval but have yet to be developed, ie. if the annual requirement for houses in a particular borough, is set by government is 1000 per year, the LA must continually find sites to maintain a minimum stock of 5000 houses, regardless of if the developers decide to only build half the original 1000 due to the economic climate or other factors. Currently in the Wokingham Borough, which has a requirement for houses set at 900 per year, there are planning permissions in place or about to be approved for in excess of 12,000 houses and although that equates to over 12 years supply, the LA is still under pressure to supply more land because to developers are working the system & not constructing the houses knowing they can get permission for more houses which they can construct & sell when it suits them. The LA is under so much pressure that they are now considering & offering land adjacent to or on Flood Plains which is asking for trouble.
Developers cleverly size their developments to avoid being responsible for infrastructure, however, collectively they are choking our roads, putting our local NHS services under even more pressure, Reading's Maternity unit had to close to expectant mothers for over 30 days last year, GP practices can't cope, you'll wait 5 weeks for a doctors appointment, etc. but the developers don't care & the LA's say it's not their responsibility.
This must stop, villages, rural countryside & our green spaces are being destroyed in the name of profit & greed. We all know housing is needed but surely it should be done in a responsible, planned & controlled manner with infrastructure & community services as part of the planning process with meaningful consultation with local residents. Most importantly, take back the power from the developers before we damage rural England for good.
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