Repeal planning acts

Planning as a concept is a complete faliure with some notable exceptions such as regeneration areas around sports events or new towns. In general life they are an expensive waste of space and infringe on the right of an individual to use their land for their use. This is not to be confussed with building control which is useful and forefills a function for the greater good if implimneted by practical knowledgable people. I would remove all planning acts and start afresh with the idea that planning is only necessary on the grand scale and limited to one off Acts of Parliament. Everything else is not planning. However the public/business would ahve to make a building regilation application to make sure any work is designed and built to the correct standards.

Why is this idea important?

Planning as a concept is a complete faliure with some notable exceptions such as regeneration areas around sports events or new towns. In general life they are an expensive waste of space and infringe on the right of an individual to use their land for their use. This is not to be confussed with building control which is useful and forefills a function for the greater good if implimneted by practical knowledgable people. I would remove all planning acts and start afresh with the idea that planning is only necessary on the grand scale and limited to one off Acts of Parliament. Everything else is not planning. However the public/business would ahve to make a building regilation application to make sure any work is designed and built to the correct standards.

earth sheltered homes

Applications for earth sheltered homes which are normally very eco friendly should not be subjected to the strict considerations which apply to green belt applications, currently they are.

Applications for basement extensions, ie digging under an existing house to create extra living space should also be more favourably looked at, as a positive way to create extra living space without spoiling the beautiful landscapes which are usually either greenbelt or area of outstanding natural beauty.

These two easements would help with the shortage of homes, create work, create profit, and be beneficial in every way without being detrimental to the environment.

Why is this idea important?

Applications for earth sheltered homes which are normally very eco friendly should not be subjected to the strict considerations which apply to green belt applications, currently they are.

Applications for basement extensions, ie digging under an existing house to create extra living space should also be more favourably looked at, as a positive way to create extra living space without spoiling the beautiful landscapes which are usually either greenbelt or area of outstanding natural beauty.

These two easements would help with the shortage of homes, create work, create profit, and be beneficial in every way without being detrimental to the environment.

Amendment of the planning process leading to a more appropriate housing stock for future society.

The current planning system and process is slow tired and cumbersome and still involves the cook, baker and candlestick maker who do not have required expertise. The process leads to a point where developers are now no longer able to build developments that they and residents can be proud of, make money, hold their value and are fit for purpose. Developers purchase sites and are then firstly forced by plans to cram attached houses into less room than in the past and setting properties on streets with inadequate parking, no front gardens and on top of each other. Such estates are creating the ghettos of tomorrow by maling families live on top of each and removing the whole street communities. This also creates tension between families living too close. On top of this, current social housing are inappropriate. Firstly the integration of housing with other stock creates issues. Secondly, current regs for houses mean that they are now so expensive to build that developers have another cost issue on top of current economic issues. Developers are currently unable to sell homes due to surveyors downvaluing on orders from banks so they can reduce lending. This means people can’t afford to buy, developers suffer and future housing plans and needs suffer. Idea is to help the developers through these tough times for a longer view of housing needs and also protect and industry and its workforce while making a fair and appropriate future housing plan.

Why is this idea important?

The current planning system and process is slow tired and cumbersome and still involves the cook, baker and candlestick maker who do not have required expertise. The process leads to a point where developers are now no longer able to build developments that they and residents can be proud of, make money, hold their value and are fit for purpose. Developers purchase sites and are then firstly forced by plans to cram attached houses into less room than in the past and setting properties on streets with inadequate parking, no front gardens and on top of each other. Such estates are creating the ghettos of tomorrow by maling families live on top of each and removing the whole street communities. This also creates tension between families living too close. On top of this, current social housing are inappropriate. Firstly the integration of housing with other stock creates issues. Secondly, current regs for houses mean that they are now so expensive to build that developers have another cost issue on top of current economic issues. Developers are currently unable to sell homes due to surveyors downvaluing on orders from banks so they can reduce lending. This means people can’t afford to buy, developers suffer and future housing plans and needs suffer. Idea is to help the developers through these tough times for a longer view of housing needs and also protect and industry and its workforce while making a fair and appropriate future housing plan.

Abolish most change of use restrictions for non-residential properties

Current planning law classifies non-residential properties into a multitude of use classes, and in most cases planning permission is required for change of use from one class to another. Local councils use these use classes as a way of reserving certain properties for uses they consider appropriate, but often without clear links to actual needs or to what the market can bear. Thus many properties remain empty for years because there is no viable use in the class the property has been assigned to, whereas others who want to use the property are not allowed to for no good reason. This has a damaging effect on small businesses and on community groups. For example, in cases I know of personally, a community organisation was refused permission to open a former shop as a cafe (because a neighbouring shop had been given this change of use permission but was in fact still in use as a shop) and in two separate cases (one overturned on appeal, another currently subject to appeal) permission was refused for industrial buildings that had been empty for years to be used by churches. Some restrictions on change of use of premises may still be needed e.g. to control fast food premises, but these might be better handled by licensing authorities rather than planning officials.

Why is this idea important?

Current planning law classifies non-residential properties into a multitude of use classes, and in most cases planning permission is required for change of use from one class to another. Local councils use these use classes as a way of reserving certain properties for uses they consider appropriate, but often without clear links to actual needs or to what the market can bear. Thus many properties remain empty for years because there is no viable use in the class the property has been assigned to, whereas others who want to use the property are not allowed to for no good reason. This has a damaging effect on small businesses and on community groups. For example, in cases I know of personally, a community organisation was refused permission to open a former shop as a cafe (because a neighbouring shop had been given this change of use permission but was in fact still in use as a shop) and in two separate cases (one overturned on appeal, another currently subject to appeal) permission was refused for industrial buildings that had been empty for years to be used by churches. Some restrictions on change of use of premises may still be needed e.g. to control fast food premises, but these might be better handled by licensing authorities rather than planning officials.

Repeal the “Exception Sites” rules in planning law

These rules in Planning law¬†allow builders/developers to buy cheap land outside development boundaries and then gain consent for “affordable housing” for Housing Associations on green belt, ANOB, etc. land that otherwise wouldn’t get consent. It also allows them to ignore regulations about flood risk.

Why is this idea important?

These rules in Planning law¬†allow builders/developers to buy cheap land outside development boundaries and then gain consent for “affordable housing” for Housing Associations on green belt, ANOB, etc. land that otherwise wouldn’t get consent. It also allows them to ignore regulations about flood risk.

Part P of the building regulations scrapped!

I am a fully qualified JIB Approved Electrician with 18 years experience. Since Part P of the building regulations was introduced I was suddenly not allowed to carry out certain works in a domestic property unless I paid a fee to a "Part P Scheme", however 5 day "part P" training course's sprung up and now bricklayers with no experience are doing the 5 day course and then carrying out electrical work in people's homes!

Who would knowingly have someone carry out electrical work in their home with only 5 days experiance? In order for me to gain my City & Guilds in electrical installations I had to go through a 4 YEAR intensive training program and once that was completed I took various other courses such as a 6 week C&G 2391 testing, inspection & certification, so how on earth can a 5 day course be adequate.

As all electricians know, we are always learning in this industry and you cannot learn the entire BS:7671 2008 IEE wiring regulations and gain the nessacesry experience required in 5 days flat. Nobody would let someone carry out a surgical operation on them with only 5 days experience, electrical work is no different. One example is a local kitchen fitter, he used to pay good local electricians to carry out the electrical work for him, and then arrived "Part P", he did a 5 day course and added to his van "House Rewires" just below "kitchen installations" Would you let a self tought kitchen fitter rewire your home if you knew the truth of his training? As he isn't even a qualified kitchen fitter let alone an electrician. I have refused to pay this stealth tax for Part P registration therefor I no longer carry out domestic works, I leave it to the bricklayers and kitchen fitters (their prices are always cheaper as they don't know what they are doing, you get what you pay for) Part P is a licence for unqualified inexperienced incompetent people to carry out and legally certify unsafe work.

I get inundated with "Part P" builders, plumbers, shoe menders plasterers, tilers, kitchen fitters, dress makers, computer programmers, shop owners ect….who did the 5 day part P course and now carrying out electrical work, phoning me and asking me the simplest of electrical questions on problems they have. I now advise them to go back to dress making and leave electrical work to the professionals. If I had a penny every time I saw someone in a DIY store holding a cooker switch and gazing at some door bell wire (as it's the cheapest cable) I wouldn't need to work.

Another example is, I had been asked by a letting agent to carry out a Periodic Inspection Report on a domestic property which was to be rented, the inspection failed due to having NO MAIN EARTH, this is enough to condemn the installation as it could be an electric shock risk, we all know that electricity can kill. To my amazement the owner told me he had it recently tested by his own Part P electrician who signed it off as safe. It was clearly evident that the Part P so called electrician had installed bonding to the mains gas and water service, but as he could not fit the new earths into the earth bar he disconnected the MAIN earth in order to connect his bonding cables, leaving the installation worse off than before he started.

Another example, A letting agent called me out to a property where a child had received an electric shock from a cable in the garden, when I arrived I was shown to the garden where I found an exposed live end of flex sticking out between the gaps in the patio where the children where playing, unbelivable I know. I completly removed the said cable and unsured it was made safe, I also advised them it to have the property fully Tested & Inspected as I had also noticed the shed was not RCD protected and there were numerous other dangers. I was stunned when I was informed they had only been in the property a couple of weeks and the property had been tested before they moved in. I aksed if I could see their paper work on the inspection and they showed me a peace of paper which showed it was a worthless made up inspection report a washing machine repair man had made up on his computer, all it had on it was the installation address a few tick boxes and his signature stating the installation was safe.

I informed the letting agent of my findings at the property and of the paper work I had been shown, I did my up most best to explain to the letting agent what this guy is doing and that the Certifiacte he produced was worthless and he had signed of a dangerous installation where a child had an electric shock due to his incompetance as safe but they did not seam to care as he was cheaper than everyone else and he was Part P registered. The numerous Part P schemes need to be scrapped as they do not work (there is nothing to stop joe bloggs popping to a DIY store, buying the wrong materials and carrying out the unsafe work himself – as its cheaper) and all electrical work to be only carried out by licenced JIB electricians.

You should not be able to even buy certain electrical items such as fuse boards ect without being registered with the JIB (Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Contracting Industry) and no more. I know of people who have had no training what so ever but they are working on building sites wiring new homes, shops ect… working for a registered company so they are getting away with it.

Why is this idea important?

I am a fully qualified JIB Approved Electrician with 18 years experience. Since Part P of the building regulations was introduced I was suddenly not allowed to carry out certain works in a domestic property unless I paid a fee to a "Part P Scheme", however 5 day "part P" training course's sprung up and now bricklayers with no experience are doing the 5 day course and then carrying out electrical work in people's homes!

Who would knowingly have someone carry out electrical work in their home with only 5 days experiance? In order for me to gain my City & Guilds in electrical installations I had to go through a 4 YEAR intensive training program and once that was completed I took various other courses such as a 6 week C&G 2391 testing, inspection & certification, so how on earth can a 5 day course be adequate.

As all electricians know, we are always learning in this industry and you cannot learn the entire BS:7671 2008 IEE wiring regulations and gain the nessacesry experience required in 5 days flat. Nobody would let someone carry out a surgical operation on them with only 5 days experience, electrical work is no different. One example is a local kitchen fitter, he used to pay good local electricians to carry out the electrical work for him, and then arrived "Part P", he did a 5 day course and added to his van "House Rewires" just below "kitchen installations" Would you let a self tought kitchen fitter rewire your home if you knew the truth of his training? As he isn't even a qualified kitchen fitter let alone an electrician. I have refused to pay this stealth tax for Part P registration therefor I no longer carry out domestic works, I leave it to the bricklayers and kitchen fitters (their prices are always cheaper as they don't know what they are doing, you get what you pay for) Part P is a licence for unqualified inexperienced incompetent people to carry out and legally certify unsafe work.

I get inundated with "Part P" builders, plumbers, shoe menders plasterers, tilers, kitchen fitters, dress makers, computer programmers, shop owners ect….who did the 5 day part P course and now carrying out electrical work, phoning me and asking me the simplest of electrical questions on problems they have. I now advise them to go back to dress making and leave electrical work to the professionals. If I had a penny every time I saw someone in a DIY store holding a cooker switch and gazing at some door bell wire (as it's the cheapest cable) I wouldn't need to work.

Another example is, I had been asked by a letting agent to carry out a Periodic Inspection Report on a domestic property which was to be rented, the inspection failed due to having NO MAIN EARTH, this is enough to condemn the installation as it could be an electric shock risk, we all know that electricity can kill. To my amazement the owner told me he had it recently tested by his own Part P electrician who signed it off as safe. It was clearly evident that the Part P so called electrician had installed bonding to the mains gas and water service, but as he could not fit the new earths into the earth bar he disconnected the MAIN earth in order to connect his bonding cables, leaving the installation worse off than before he started.

Another example, A letting agent called me out to a property where a child had received an electric shock from a cable in the garden, when I arrived I was shown to the garden where I found an exposed live end of flex sticking out between the gaps in the patio where the children where playing, unbelivable I know. I completly removed the said cable and unsured it was made safe, I also advised them it to have the property fully Tested & Inspected as I had also noticed the shed was not RCD protected and there were numerous other dangers. I was stunned when I was informed they had only been in the property a couple of weeks and the property had been tested before they moved in. I aksed if I could see their paper work on the inspection and they showed me a peace of paper which showed it was a worthless made up inspection report a washing machine repair man had made up on his computer, all it had on it was the installation address a few tick boxes and his signature stating the installation was safe.

I informed the letting agent of my findings at the property and of the paper work I had been shown, I did my up most best to explain to the letting agent what this guy is doing and that the Certifiacte he produced was worthless and he had signed of a dangerous installation where a child had an electric shock due to his incompetance as safe but they did not seam to care as he was cheaper than everyone else and he was Part P registered. The numerous Part P schemes need to be scrapped as they do not work (there is nothing to stop joe bloggs popping to a DIY store, buying the wrong materials and carrying out the unsafe work himself – as its cheaper) and all electrical work to be only carried out by licenced JIB electricians.

You should not be able to even buy certain electrical items such as fuse boards ect without being registered with the JIB (Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Contracting Industry) and no more. I know of people who have had no training what so ever but they are working on building sites wiring new homes, shops ect… working for a registered company so they are getting away with it.

Planning Reform

Change the TCPA so that beyond specifying a usage class for land planners have no further involvement.

Most of the great buildings would never have been built under the current regime.

Why is this idea important?

Change the TCPA so that beyond specifying a usage class for land planners have no further involvement.

Most of the great buildings would never have been built under the current regime.

moderation for environmental regulators

As a business that requires regular licences for dredging, piling, reclamation, marine works and building consents in coastal areas we have a difficult time.  Currently there is no way to appeal against the judgement of environmental officers working for Environment agency, English nature or Countryside council for wales. The officers are overzealous in applying rules emanating from the Habitats directive and other similar acts, they work on the precautionary principle whereby the applicant is obliged to prove "they are not having  a negative effect". This often becomes a game of find the invisible man, after spending years and often hundreds of thousands of pounds proving the painfully obvious to the ill informed few there is no method of redress against these individuals that have often been most unreasonable. i would like to see a measure of moderation and accountability for these agencies.The burden of proof needs to shift from the applicant to the regulator at some point and the consequence of not granting the licence need to be assessed in terms of the local communities affected by these insular and often poor decisions.

Why is this idea important?

As a business that requires regular licences for dredging, piling, reclamation, marine works and building consents in coastal areas we have a difficult time.  Currently there is no way to appeal against the judgement of environmental officers working for Environment agency, English nature or Countryside council for wales. The officers are overzealous in applying rules emanating from the Habitats directive and other similar acts, they work on the precautionary principle whereby the applicant is obliged to prove "they are not having  a negative effect". This often becomes a game of find the invisible man, after spending years and often hundreds of thousands of pounds proving the painfully obvious to the ill informed few there is no method of redress against these individuals that have often been most unreasonable. i would like to see a measure of moderation and accountability for these agencies.The burden of proof needs to shift from the applicant to the regulator at some point and the consequence of not granting the licence need to be assessed in terms of the local communities affected by these insular and often poor decisions.

Repeal of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960

To repeal this little known law which allows unelected bodies to make planning decisions  allowing campsites to be established in communities without any recourse to the inhabitants or to the Local Authority. This is one way to give local planning decisions back to local people.

Why is this idea important?

To repeal this little known law which allows unelected bodies to make planning decisions  allowing campsites to be established in communities without any recourse to the inhabitants or to the Local Authority. This is one way to give local planning decisions back to local people.

Remove GPDO Rights for Mobile Telecommunication Companies.

My idea is that the present government should remove Permitted Development Rights for Mobile Phone Operators and make all telecommunication applications go through  full planning procedure.The present GPDO system puts MPO companies as 'Statutory Undertakers' alongside Gas & Electricity – this is unfair.

As the majority of the mobile network was completed by Dec. 2007, having being facilitated by the then Government, now is the time to restore fairness into the planning system by leveling the playing field. I believe that the operators are already having to use full planning in some parts of the UK.

Also, I would like to see LEA's making more use of wired computer systems in schools.

Why is this idea important?

My idea is that the present government should remove Permitted Development Rights for Mobile Phone Operators and make all telecommunication applications go through  full planning procedure.The present GPDO system puts MPO companies as 'Statutory Undertakers' alongside Gas & Electricity – this is unfair.

As the majority of the mobile network was completed by Dec. 2007, having being facilitated by the then Government, now is the time to restore fairness into the planning system by leveling the playing field. I believe that the operators are already having to use full planning in some parts of the UK.

Also, I would like to see LEA's making more use of wired computer systems in schools.

Local Planning Consents

May I suggest that you take a look at local authority planning consents most urgently.

It has come to my notice that in Rochdale, Lancashire, there are more than 6,000 registered Mosques with the local authority.

Apparently this is due to the misuse of a planning law stating that a room which can hold more than 6 people can be declared as a place of worship or a place of learning thus avoiding the payment of Council Tax.

To confirm my research I rang the planning office to verify if this was true as I had heard it from a council employee.  The person who answered the phone could not be specific but thought it could be considerably more than 6000.  Therefore it implies that unscrupulous individuals are declaring their homes as Mosques.

If this abuse of local planning is repeated across the country then local authorities are losing tens of millions of pounds in revenue.

I urge you to look into this matter as soon as possible.

Why is this idea important?

May I suggest that you take a look at local authority planning consents most urgently.

It has come to my notice that in Rochdale, Lancashire, there are more than 6,000 registered Mosques with the local authority.

Apparently this is due to the misuse of a planning law stating that a room which can hold more than 6 people can be declared as a place of worship or a place of learning thus avoiding the payment of Council Tax.

To confirm my research I rang the planning office to verify if this was true as I had heard it from a council employee.  The person who answered the phone could not be specific but thought it could be considerably more than 6000.  Therefore it implies that unscrupulous individuals are declaring their homes as Mosques.

If this abuse of local planning is repeated across the country then local authorities are losing tens of millions of pounds in revenue.

I urge you to look into this matter as soon as possible.

The Right Of Light Act 1959

If an occupant has lived in a property for 20 years they have the right to prevent the development of an extension to a neighbouring property if the extension will cause a minimal loss of light to a window.


 

Why is this idea important?

If an occupant has lived in a property for 20 years they have the right to prevent the development of an extension to a neighbouring property if the extension will cause a minimal loss of light to a window.


 

Protect open spaces

Repeal the provisions of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 which removed the requirement for local authorities, when using open space for another purpose, to provide land in exchange. (Now they only have to advertise their intention and consider public objections, which they can easily disregard.) Reinstate the requirement to provide land in exchange which is at least as large and as advantageous to the public or to submit the proposals to parliament for approval.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the provisions of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 which removed the requirement for local authorities, when using open space for another purpose, to provide land in exchange. (Now they only have to advertise their intention and consider public objections, which they can easily disregard.) Reinstate the requirement to provide land in exchange which is at least as large and as advantageous to the public or to submit the proposals to parliament for approval.

Fossilised studentification

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Why is this idea important?

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Planning Laws

Many councils now withdraw 'permitted development rights' from new homes, simply to make money from the householders when they want to do the simplest of alterations/extensions to their homes.  This law should be removed so that everybody is able to make simple alterations/extension without the need to get the council involved and line their coffers. Planning permission should not be needed for those of us who want a greener environment and wish to install solar panels or a small wind turbine. As things stand it is cost prohibited when the council need to get involved in every aspect of these matters.

Why is this idea important?

Many councils now withdraw 'permitted development rights' from new homes, simply to make money from the householders when they want to do the simplest of alterations/extensions to their homes.  This law should be removed so that everybody is able to make simple alterations/extension without the need to get the council involved and line their coffers. Planning permission should not be needed for those of us who want a greener environment and wish to install solar panels or a small wind turbine. As things stand it is cost prohibited when the council need to get involved in every aspect of these matters.

Stop spurious village green applications halting housing development

Repeal the Commons Act 2008 (and Commons Act 2006).

This law allows people to apply for village greens on the flimsiest of grounds.    A social housing development (aka affordable housing) with planning approval has been held up for 2.5 years because a spurious village green application has been made using the Commons Acts recently brought in.  The application is now being turned down but the applicatants have succeeded in delaying the project.

The village green registration authorities have no time limit in which they must reach a conclusion about an application.  Therefore everyone is using spurious village green applications to delay any development they disagree with, regardless of the planning laws.

The Commons Acts are not needed since the Planning Laws are sufficient in themselves. 

   

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the Commons Act 2008 (and Commons Act 2006).

This law allows people to apply for village greens on the flimsiest of grounds.    A social housing development (aka affordable housing) with planning approval has been held up for 2.5 years because a spurious village green application has been made using the Commons Acts recently brought in.  The application is now being turned down but the applicatants have succeeded in delaying the project.

The village green registration authorities have no time limit in which they must reach a conclusion about an application.  Therefore everyone is using spurious village green applications to delay any development they disagree with, regardless of the planning laws.

The Commons Acts are not needed since the Planning Laws are sufficient in themselves. 

   

Suggested change to the application and enforcement of planning conditions for commercial and large scale residential development

This suggestion is not to remove a regulation but to ask for Planning Authorities to be under a statutory obligation to monitor and enforce conditions they apply to planning consents.  The result may be that the number of conditions applied to developers may be reduced but they would be enforced.

National guidance on planning conditions sets out that conditions should only be used to make a development that would otherwise be unacceptable acceptable.  It follows then that any such conditions must be important, but they are rarely enforced.  In almost every town across the UK you can go to your local supermarket, housing development, industrial development or similar and see areas of tree or shrub planting with dead trees or knee height in weeds.  Many other aspects of development mitigation also go un checked or not implemented leaving local communities all the poorer and occasionally neighbouring individuals seriously disadvantaged. 

Many developers look on planning conditions as an optional extra and pay lip service to the requirements they have been set with a planning approval.

All authorities should be formally required to inspect commercial development sites annually for 5 years post completion (the inspections should be on a public register) and be under a statutory obligation to enforce conditions where a developer is found to be in breach.  This would add to the work load of planning departments but in time would lead to a much clearer understanding from developers they must implement schemes only as approved (which would then in turn lead to a reduction in the need to take action).  Authorities would then only apply conditions they could expect to enforce and the public could then accept developments with the confidence that what they see is what they get.  Some authorities would no doubt give up applying conditions – but this would be in affect little different from what happens now. 

The additional cost of this could be recouped through fines for the most flagrant breaches of planning approval.

A spin off consequence of this would be a marked improvement in the UK landscape industry as contractors would no longer be able to walk away from poorly implemented schemes and the UK Nursery trade may be able to get back on its feet and start producing proper quality plant stock.

This suggestion is targeted at only commercial developments.  The reason for this as there is a distinct contrast between how most planning officers treat the public from how commercial developers.  With a member of the public most planners instantly go into a Cap and Badge syndrome mentality.  With a commercial developer most planners start to open their top button reminiscent of Pamela Stephenson on Not the Nine O'clock News (there that dates me doesn't it)!

 

Why is this idea important?

This suggestion is not to remove a regulation but to ask for Planning Authorities to be under a statutory obligation to monitor and enforce conditions they apply to planning consents.  The result may be that the number of conditions applied to developers may be reduced but they would be enforced.

National guidance on planning conditions sets out that conditions should only be used to make a development that would otherwise be unacceptable acceptable.  It follows then that any such conditions must be important, but they are rarely enforced.  In almost every town across the UK you can go to your local supermarket, housing development, industrial development or similar and see areas of tree or shrub planting with dead trees or knee height in weeds.  Many other aspects of development mitigation also go un checked or not implemented leaving local communities all the poorer and occasionally neighbouring individuals seriously disadvantaged. 

Many developers look on planning conditions as an optional extra and pay lip service to the requirements they have been set with a planning approval.

All authorities should be formally required to inspect commercial development sites annually for 5 years post completion (the inspections should be on a public register) and be under a statutory obligation to enforce conditions where a developer is found to be in breach.  This would add to the work load of planning departments but in time would lead to a much clearer understanding from developers they must implement schemes only as approved (which would then in turn lead to a reduction in the need to take action).  Authorities would then only apply conditions they could expect to enforce and the public could then accept developments with the confidence that what they see is what they get.  Some authorities would no doubt give up applying conditions – but this would be in affect little different from what happens now. 

The additional cost of this could be recouped through fines for the most flagrant breaches of planning approval.

A spin off consequence of this would be a marked improvement in the UK landscape industry as contractors would no longer be able to walk away from poorly implemented schemes and the UK Nursery trade may be able to get back on its feet and start producing proper quality plant stock.

This suggestion is targeted at only commercial developments.  The reason for this as there is a distinct contrast between how most planning officers treat the public from how commercial developers.  With a member of the public most planners instantly go into a Cap and Badge syndrome mentality.  With a commercial developer most planners start to open their top button reminiscent of Pamela Stephenson on Not the Nine O'clock News (there that dates me doesn't it)!

 

Planning Inspectorate

The activities of the Planning Inspectorate need curtailing.  If a planning application is turned down, an appeal can be launched by the aggrieved party.   However, the Inspectorate appoints someone who knows nothing about the area and his/her opinion takes precedence of that of the local planning authority.  Even though the Inspectorate employs someone to do quality control of its decisions, it appears not to carry out any quality control.  I know of a case when the Inspectorate was asked to review a decision it had made, the quality control man sid they could not do this because they had thrown away the papers!

Why is this idea important?

The activities of the Planning Inspectorate need curtailing.  If a planning application is turned down, an appeal can be launched by the aggrieved party.   However, the Inspectorate appoints someone who knows nothing about the area and his/her opinion takes precedence of that of the local planning authority.  Even though the Inspectorate employs someone to do quality control of its decisions, it appears not to carry out any quality control.  I know of a case when the Inspectorate was asked to review a decision it had made, the quality control man sid they could not do this because they had thrown away the papers!

Revoke unneccessary planning conditions

Planning conditions such as 'holiday use' or 'agricultural worker' reduce the supply of affordable housing, distort the housing market, hamper business flexibility to change direction, and encourage illegal occupation in breach of planning laws.

Houses that have been built to building regulations (as opposed to temporary structures such as caravans) should be available to live in, or rent as holiday accommodation according to market conditions.

This idea is to offer the owners of properties suffering from these conditions the opportunity to revoke these conditions in exchange for a payment to the goverment.

 

Why is this idea important?

Planning conditions such as 'holiday use' or 'agricultural worker' reduce the supply of affordable housing, distort the housing market, hamper business flexibility to change direction, and encourage illegal occupation in breach of planning laws.

Houses that have been built to building regulations (as opposed to temporary structures such as caravans) should be available to live in, or rent as holiday accommodation according to market conditions.

This idea is to offer the owners of properties suffering from these conditions the opportunity to revoke these conditions in exchange for a payment to the goverment.

 

that housing law shall consist only of clear facts that disprove their own opposites

This is to enact a blanket principle, that simply states: in all law concerning occupancy of your  home, as owner or tenant, every fact of law or point of law that is true shall be absolutely true with no shades of uncertainty, and shall disprove that its opposite is true.

This is to prevent manipulation and swindling by your solicitor. At present, there can be all sorts of complications arising from planning issues, certifying the completion of extensions, or "burdens", duties attached to a piece of land for murky reasons of its history. When these complications or any others arise, you are left to rely on your solicitor's opinion, with no definite reference point to say it is right or wrong, and solicitors are allowed to have different conflicting opinions on the same thing yet both count as right. This is manipulation, it leaves you with no entitlement to know for certain what the law is that you are trying to comply with.

These things are true in both the English and Scottish systems.

Why is this idea important?

This is to enact a blanket principle, that simply states: in all law concerning occupancy of your  home, as owner or tenant, every fact of law or point of law that is true shall be absolutely true with no shades of uncertainty, and shall disprove that its opposite is true.

This is to prevent manipulation and swindling by your solicitor. At present, there can be all sorts of complications arising from planning issues, certifying the completion of extensions, or "burdens", duties attached to a piece of land for murky reasons of its history. When these complications or any others arise, you are left to rely on your solicitor's opinion, with no definite reference point to say it is right or wrong, and solicitors are allowed to have different conflicting opinions on the same thing yet both count as right. This is manipulation, it leaves you with no entitlement to know for certain what the law is that you are trying to comply with.

These things are true in both the English and Scottish systems.

Abolish the AONB boards

A few years ago it was decided that AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) should each have some form of board, invoving a staff, website, publications, meetings, input into planning decisions etc. These were duly formed and now are staffed up and eating money and wasting time.  

The planning functions can be discharged by locally elected bodies eg councils who have due regard to AONB status when looking at applications.  Everything else they do is a complete waste of time including handing out tiny grants to local bodies – councils can, and do, this already.  Basically they are an extra layer of non-accountable cost which duplicates council functions.  No-one asked for them and no-one would miss them.

Why is this idea important?

A few years ago it was decided that AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) should each have some form of board, invoving a staff, website, publications, meetings, input into planning decisions etc. These were duly formed and now are staffed up and eating money and wasting time.  

The planning functions can be discharged by locally elected bodies eg councils who have due regard to AONB status when looking at applications.  Everything else they do is a complete waste of time including handing out tiny grants to local bodies – councils can, and do, this already.  Basically they are an extra layer of non-accountable cost which duplicates council functions.  No-one asked for them and no-one would miss them.

Give Planning Enforcement Departments power to act quickly

Faster action by Planning Enforcement Officers to prevent unplanned buildings in the first place and quicker action in getting illegal buildings removed.

Why is this idea important?

Faster action by Planning Enforcement Officers to prevent unplanned buildings in the first place and quicker action in getting illegal buildings removed.