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Councils plan our communities, not the Government

Anne Marie Morris MP believes that house building has become “more centralised at a national level, taking power away from local authorities” and that “a community right to appeal” would be one way to properly re-balance the planning system.

The National Federation Builders (NFB) disagrees with her assessment and encourages the MP for Newton Abbot to do more to understand how homes are really built and planned for.

Local authorities plan where homes go and then grant planning permissions for them. Yet how they implement the planning process, which is set by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), leaves a lot to be desired, says the NFB.

First there is the plan making process, which allocates housing sites through local plans and decides which homes get built and why. In England, 273 local plans have not been updated since 2017, with 127 adopted before the NPPF was introduced 2012. Another 86 planning authorities have failed so badly to meet demand that the Government has forced them to make up the shortfall by increasing housing supply by 20%. Research by Lichfields also found that 60% of the neighbourhood plans they reviewed did not contain any housing figures or allocations, preferring to focus on infrastructure instead.

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