Developers Attracting Bad Publicity

I am sure a few people subscribe to the view that no publicity is ‘bad’ publicity but the weekend headline that had a big splash when I read the paper was:-

“Builders use loopholes to flood villages with concrete.”

There was an accompanying photograph of David Gladman of Gladman Developments whose company were mentioned several times in the article and highlighted by an MP by saying

“Companies like Gladman are rapacious in their behaviour and are profiteering …. very clearly what they are doing is going to the most expensive parts of the Shires and looking for greenfield sites in areas where the local Council does not have a core strategy in place.  These areas then have inappropriate developments forced down their throats.”

Strong comments indeed from the politician.  The loophole, if it can be described as that, centres on local authorities requiring to have a “Core Strategy / Local Plan” for housing as well as a five year supply of land for new homes.  If Councils do not have this available then developers seeking to gain planning permission in those Council’s areas generally stand a far stronger chance of having national planning Inspectors grant approvals for new housing after the local authorities have refused planning.  The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework makes it clear that local planning authorities should ‘boost significantly’ the supply of housing land if a local planning authority failing to properly apply national planning policy it has inevitable implications if a refused housing scheme is appealed by a developer.

Government clearly recognises a problem and quotes in the paper from the planning minister as saying that he urges local authorities to speed up their own plans to stop speculators developing sites that people specifically wish to protect.

It is not good if developers start generating this sort of negative publicity but if they are playing within the rules then if there is a fault in this case it probably lies with the local authorities who have not been doing sufficient work on their local land supply.

Our Planning Team work with many developers seeking to promote new sites and gain permission but our aim is to work if possible in collaboration and co-operation with local communities and planning authorities.

For advice on any planning matters, contact one of our planning team on 0212 455 9455.