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To wait or not to wait for housing development
Published May 6th, 2014
As the debate over the housing crisis continues, the question being bounced around local communities, Councils and developers is should they wait until Local Plans are finalised or should they just get on and build?
“This ‘to wait or not to wait’ question has strong viewpoints either side,” says Helen Howie, planning policy adviser with Berrys at Shrewsbury.
“On one hand the country urgently needs more houses to prevent another housing bubble and to provide stability for the next generation. On the other hand, with the Government’s not-so-distant promises about localism ringing in their ears, many people want to control where development goes.”
The dilemma for those with land or resources that could help provide the new houses that the country needs is whether to go ahead, or to wait until they have policy support for their plans.
“Parliament has already held three debates on this issue, and the Planning Minister’s answer is resolute: localism depends on delivery,” Helen said.
“You need both but if you have to choose, then delivery wins hands-down. The country needs development and it can’t wait until Councils have got their act together.”
Here in Shropshire Local Plans are inching towards completion. Shropshire Council has just finished consulting on its final SAMDev Local Plan but unfortunately it is unlikely to be ready to adopt until 2015 at the earliest, and very possibly not until 2016.
Telford & Wrekin Council is just in the process of consulting over proposed sites for development for inclusion in its Shaping Places Plan which is due to be finalised in 2015/16. The consultation is open for comments from May 6 until June 17 and is an opportunity to comment on proposed sites as well as suggest additional sites for development. The final Shaping Places Plan is likely to come into effect in late 2016.
“In the meantime, the country needs development. People need good homes to live in, housing strengthens the economy and new development can help sustain village services and bring new vitality into a community,” said Helen.
“The key is to encourage development in a sensitive manner, building houses where they are needed without detriment to the area.
“At Berrys we can help landowners identify appropriate sites for sustainable development and bring landowners, developers and the community together to deliver schemes that benefit everyone.
“The country needs development, so while it’s good to engage positively with the Local Plan process we are advising people not to wait until the Local Plan is finalised before applying for planning permission, in order to get underway with building the homes that are so urgently needed,” she added.
Land agents such as Berrys are geared up to help landowners and developers bring sites forward for building. For more information contact Helen.Howie@berrys.uk.com at Berrys or telephone 01743 239028 mobile: 07741 313576.