The KRA has recently formed a Sub-Committee on Planning Policy. Its primary objectives are to interact with our residents, advise the KRA on national and local planning policy issues and to help preserve and enhance the lovely area in which we live.
In August 2020, the Government published a White Paper “Planning for the Future”. Based on the Sub-committee’s analysis, the KRA has duly submitted its feedback to the consultation.
The White Paper proposes reforms to the planning system which Government says will streamline and modernise the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.
The KRA has submitted a constructive, but highly critical, response to these proposals. In summary, we believe the White Paper would:
- Lead to over-development of new houses in areas like Reigate and Banstead, which already comfortably exceeds its new-build targets, while under-providing new homes in parts of the country that urgently need more housing.
- Undermine local democracy by seriously reducing the ability of residents and Councillors to influence decisions on planning in their locality.
- Fail to address adequately major issues, such as Affordable Homes, mortgage funding, mobility of labour and the practice of planning enforcement.
We are not alone in our criticism of the White Paper. Our MP and other MPs from the governing party in the Home Counties have come out strongly against some or many of the White Paper recommendations. We have been joined by other local residents’ associations in our conclusions. We hope that the Government will take full note of this widespread rejection of their prescription for planning and come back with revised proposals.
If you wish to get a detailed sense of the issues at stake, you can read our full response in the PDF document on the KRA website or by clicking here.