Labour councillors in Mansfield have today renewed calls for a united front against the Government’s Developers’ Charter as new polling reveals 80% oppose plans to prevent local people from having a say over new developments in our community.
The call comes as Labour works towards securing a unanimous statement from the council in opposition to Government plans.
Mansfield Labour Group leader, Andy Abrahams says
“The whole country is uniting against the dreadful plans to prevent local people from having a say over new developments in our communities. Now it’s time for local leaders to send a clear message – Mansfield says NO to the Developers’ Charter.
“We have to build more homes but we have to do it the right way. Under this Conservative Government’s plans local people would have no right to a say over anything built in Mansfield and Warsop, from ugly and unsightly buildings to slums and bad developments over our treasured green spaces. That has to be wrong.
“It’s now time for councillors from all parties to back our message to government so Mansfield community leader can stand together and defeat these outrageous proposals.”
According to a poll commissioned by the Conservative-led Local Government Association 8 in 10 residents want to be able to have their say on all new homes built in their local community. 82% felt it was important to be able to comment on individual plans for all housing developments in their local area. Nearly half (49 per cent) said it was “very” important while a third (32 per cent) said “fairly” important.
Latest figures show more than 1.1 million homes given planning permission over the past decade are yet to be built, and councils are approving 9 in 10 planning applications. There is also land for more than one million additional homes already allocated in Local Plans which developers have not yet brought forward to planning application stage.
Labour plans to pass a unifying motion at the next full council in Setember. Labour is hoping all councillors, whatever their party can support the declaration – showing a united front in Mansfield against the Developers’ Charter.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The full detail of the poll can be found here: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/eight-10-say-it-important-have-say-all-housing-their-local-area
Explainer on Yonder Data Solutions and the survey method to follow
The Conservative Government’s intention to change planning rules to benefit developers were set out in ‘Planning for the Future’ in 2020, and were immediately branded a ‘Developer’s Charter’ by housing campaigners. The plans are due to return to Parliament after this year’s local elections.
The current planning system is locally-led, with councils and the communities they represent given a say over the way their neighbourhoods develop, and all residents given the chance to object to development that is overbearing, impacts on their quality of life, or that is not accompanied by funding for necessary infrastructure (eg schools, roads, health services).
The ‘Developer’s Charter’ proposals would take away the right of local people to comment or object to development in their area, instead allowing the Secretary of State to grant developers planning “permission in principle” without any local consultation on the application. These changes to the planning system would help developers avoid contributions for affordable housing, local infrastructure, and avoid existing standards on good quality design, allowing them to rack up hundreds of millions of pounds extra profit without building any more homes. The Government is already relaxing ‘permitted development’ rules to allow developers to ignore space standards and turn high street shops and offices into homes, none of which have to be affordable.
The proposals have attracted widespread criticism – except from developers. President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Alan Jones, branded the white paper’s proposals as “shameful”, the Campaign to Protect Rural England voiced concerns about community involvement, and the housing charity Shelter expressed concern at the reforms’ potential impact on social housing.
Conservative Ministers have claimed that the reforms are needed to speed up housebuilding, even though over one million planning permissions have not been built out in the last decade.
The Conservative Party received £11 million in donations from developers in Boris Johnson’s first year as Prime Minister and £891,000 from developers in the first three months of 2021 alone.
Labour plans to push the following unifying motion at the next full council. Labour is hoping all councillors, whatever their party, can support the declaration – showing a united front in Mansfield and Warsop against the Developers’ Charter. The full motion is below:
Local involvement in planning decisions
Mansfield District Council believes planning works best when developers and the local community work together to shape local areas and deliver necessary new homes; and therefore calls on the Government to protect the right of communities to object to individual planning applications.