PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE ON THE 5 YEAR LAND SUPPLY RULE
Every district council has to meet something called the 5 year land supply rule, and if it can't risks the policies in its Local Plan, as well as those in Neighbourhood Plans like ours being deemed out of date and hence invalid when inappropriate planning applications are made that flout those plans' policies. There is a convoluted method for calculating land supply which i won't try to explain here, other than to say it seems to be illogical as many MP's point out in the debate and leaves gaping loopholes for speculative developers to take advantage of. On 04 July 2018 there was a parliamentary debate on 5 year land supply with respect to how that affects housing development and planning controls. Our local MP George Freeman contributed to the debate. You can watch the debate here online or download it. It runs for about 70 minutes and various MP's talk about problems in their constituencies and raise the same sort of points those of us in the Neighbourhood Plan work group are aware of. It is perhaps reassuring that some MP's share our frustrations in this respect but as one of them noted the debate felt like a self-help group laying bare their problems. So perhaps the most pertinent part of the debate is the last 11 minutes or so when the Minister responded. Watch and make your own mind up, but personally I thought he cynically ran his time down by saying very little of note, made an incorrect statement about a new method of calculating 5 year land supply being in the draft NPPF - it's not - and didn't offer anything tangible to address the many concerns raised by MP's. Not encouraging although we can be glad that MP's like George and others are fighting the corner of communities like ours.
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