Need not Greed Oxfordshire has taken the opportunity of the Witney by-election, to be held on 20 October, to ask all candidates their views on issues of concern to the coalition.
In our letter to candidates (see below) we asked – ‘Will you work with us to ensure a fairer balance between the needs of local people and those of landowners and developers?’.
In our letter, we ask candidates to pledge to support the following changes to national government policies:
– Ensuring that developers cannot effectively override or bypass local plans. In particular, imposing an emergency break on large developments opposed by local planning authorities, but permitted by inspectors on the grounds of “no local plan” and/or lack of 5-year housing supply, since these loopholes are increasingly being used to justify and force through anti-social and bitterly opposed development.
– Rebalancing the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to ensure a fairer balance between the needs of local people and those of landowners and developers. For example, taking steps to discourage ‘landbanking’ (the failure to build out existing permissions) and considering better mechanisms to ensure the uplift in land value from planning permission goes back to the community, supporting the provision of adequate infrastructure.
– Creating genuinely sustainable and attractive communities, often with higher densities to minimise land take, rather than depressing “any town” developments designed to maximise developer profit, eg restoring a comprehensive framework of mandatory minimum standards for sustainability, social inclusiveness, design and space provision in new housing.
So far, we have had positive responses from three candidates.