The portrayal of the land promoter exploiting supposed weaknesses in the planning process to maximise profits at the expense of councils and local communities, is not a new angle.
The proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in early March, has highlighted the need to reform the planning system to help build the new homes the country needs.
More than half of the UK’s councils do not have a local plan, with even more having a plan that is more than 5 years old and needs updating. Critical to housing supply, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has highlighted the importance of an adopted Local Plan to give certainty to local people.
As shown in last night’s episode of Countryfile (11th March 2018), farming is under pressure, margins are tight, and many farmers need to reinvest in buildings and technology. By releasing surplus land and partnering with a land promotion company, many farmers are able to continue working in the industry they love. Developments aren’t necessarily huge sprawling sites; they can be small sites with additional facilities such as open woodland and play spaces for use by the community. The example used in the show also provided a new car park for the local church, showing how these developments can help support rural communities.
With the need for new homes a Government priority, the hotly contested debate over the use of greenfield sites to help deliver new homes is set to continue.