CPRE ‘Call to Action’ on planning reform

(Post updated, 23/9/2020)

CPRE, ‘The countryside charity’, has produced a couple of important presentations that are well worth your time to read and understand. The material was shown at a seminar given by Caroline Dibden, Vice-president CPRE, to members of the Havant Borough Residents Alliance yesterday at the Gazebo Garden. While we weren’t present at this meeting, Caroline has passed on the material and reviewed this post.

The government’s recently published White Paper on Planning for the Future (PftF), available online in both glossy or detailed formats, has been published as a consultation exercise and it is vital that we all read, understand and respond to this. The timelines are tight with the first level of response, to the housing need numbers, having a deadline of October 1st.

CPRE have responded with two presentations from which the slides below are taken. There are links to the two presentations in PDF form in the following text and we’d urge you to digest the detail and consider the guidance provided while you shape your own responses. The impact of the proposed planning reforms on Havant and the rest of South Hampshire would be high. The first presentation covers the CPRE response in its own White Paper. The second presentation contains more detailed analysis, with hints and tips on how to respond. To view the presentations, click on the links and they will open as PDF files in separate browser tabs.

The two ‘killer slides’ from the CPRE White Paper are shown below. The first demonstrates the effect of the change in the ‘Standard Method‘ used to calculate housing need across the South Hampshire area. For Havant, this suggests an increase from 504 homes per year based on the 2014 numbers currently used, to 962 homes per year in the ‘new world’, a 91% increase.

Click on the image to view in a separate tab

The second slide demonstrates the extent to which the new ‘housing need’ exceeds the actual demographic need for homes in each borough which in the case of Havant is a whopping 105%! This might be great news for HBC coffers and the likes of Persimmon Homes, but it’s clearly bad news for the quality of life of residents and wildlife alike.

With HBC trumpeting the dubiously coloured herring which is the Warblington Farm nitrate mitigation initiative as the magic answer to their ‘development log jam’, we should all have cause for concern.

The following chart from the second CPRE presentation shows an analysis by Lichfields of the national impact of these changes. This chart demonstrates that despite the government’s stated intention to ‘level up’, the bulk of new house building remains in the south east. As a long-established planning consultancy, Lichfields own blog entry on the subject is also a useful reference.

Once you’ve digested the reading, select an appropriate beverage and settle down to make your views known to the government.

To respond regarding the new housing numbers, respond to the Changes to the Current Planning System by the deadline of 1st October by taking this link and scrolling down page to ‘Ways to respond‘. You will see the options to Respond online, by email or by letter.

To respond regarding democracy, respond to the Planning White Paper by the deadline of 29th October  by taking this link and scrolling down page to ‘Ways to respond‘. You will see the options to Respond online, by email or by letter.

Please also write to your MP about this matter.

Last but not least, please consider signing this petition set up by CPRE.

This is an important use of your time!

Other useful reading:

The Wrong Answers to the Wrong Questions
A really useful article by planning academics challenging the assumptions behind the White Paper

An explanation of the reasons why the reforms won’t address housing need and affordability

RIBA blog
The architecture profession’s reaction to the reforms

A crowdfunded legal challenge to the GDPO and Use Class changes

Planning Law Blog
A blog by ‘Simonicity’ – includes analysis of the legal challenge

Drowning in Development: The Planning White Paper and the full-scale
attack on local democracy.

A discussion paper from the Bosham Association