One of the few positives to come from the disastrous planning policies of Croydon current administration has been for Residents Associations from across the Borough to start to work more closely together to drive for planning change at both local and national level. The group of 15 (and growing) Residents Associations from all parts of the Borough has named itself ‘Croydon Alliance of Residents’ Associations’ (CARA).
Central Government are seeking to change the current planning system…making it simpler and easier for development to take place
You may have heard that Central Government are seeking to change the current planning system with the stated objectives of making it simpler and easier for development to take place. They are currently seeking comments and inputs to their proposals. Based on our experiences in Croydon both the PWRA and the wider CARA have great misgivings about these Central Government planning proposals.
Whilst we agree that the planning system needs to establish a clear and ambitious vision and set high standards for design and environmental performance, and also agree with Central Government proposal’s focus on developing ‘brownfield’ sites and infrastructure (like schools and doctors surgeries) before housing development we fear that other elements of the proposed reforms will take us in the wrong direction.
Based on our Croydon experience, we believe that the proposed reforms represent a developers’ charter, and that deregulation in itself won’t solve the housing crisis. We also know from our Croydon experience that developers are not building homes of the right size, type and tenure for different groups within the community, because they are focused on maximising profits.
We are also concerned that the proposed reforms will make planning less democratic. To ‘build back better’ after covid-19, local people and communities must be at the heart of any regeneration and they should have more say going forward, not less.
We are urging the government to think again so that a reformed planning system will deliver high quality, genuinely affordable and environmentally sustainable homes – the right homes in the right place, supported by the right infrastructure and services and with equal access to natural green space.
Your action required:
CARA have collectively produced a response to Central Governments planning proposals (in the format they want to receive input). This is attached. If, like us, you are concerned about the potential impact of these proposals we urge you to take this material and submit it to Central Government by the consultation deadline of 23.45 on 29th October. The attachment contains full instructions on how to use the CARA document to make your submission.
HERE IS THE ATTACHMENT – Please click to download -> Planning Future consultation website template