Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who gains from an easier planning system?

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Hazel Blears announced changes to the planning system to make planning procedures faster and apparently make local people more powerful.

This will be achieved by creating a new quango to oversee planning which will be unaccountable to the electorate, as well as central Government ministers setting national priorities for what infrastructure should be built.

I wonder what Blears' personal donor of £10,0000, Brian Scowcroft, will think of these new proposals? Come to think of it, I wonder whether the other many property developers that have pumped money into the Labour Party (openly or secretly) will be pleased with the proposed relaxation (or should I say centralisation)?

7 comments:

Man in a Shed said...

The new planning system has the same target as Gordon Brown's ridiculous pronouncements on carbon emission reduction.

They are to build a whole tranche of new Nuclear power stations.

Now it will also become easier for property developers to become very rich as simple decisions make parcels of land suddenly very valuable.

It will allow them to concrete over the Tory voting South of England - another bonus for them.

Tom Paine said...

It always amazes me how fond Tories are of Town & Country Planning. Here is the fundamental economic resource for any nation - land - and it can only be used by kind permission of the State, which can win votes from interfering neighbours (and competitors) for restricting your free use of your own property!! And THIS is Conservative!!!

Planning laws (as opposed to zoning laws and building regulations) serve no useful purpose and should be abolished. This would have the useful side effect of cutting off corrupt donations to political parties with a long, dark history of prostituting themselves to developers.

dizzy said...

Not sure I agree entirely with scrapping planning laws per se. But I do think that the current situation, which is locally based, is far superior than the one that is being proposed.

Fitaloon said...

Listened to blears on this on Radio 4 on the way home when she was skewered by the presenter on this. Basically Labour decides what is good for the country (without having to go through parliament) tells the quango what it wants and heh now it's policy so the locals can go screw themselves. So look out for the Nuclear Power Stations,Turbines etc on your dooorstep. All dressed up as making it easy fro you to put a shed in your back garden. Classic Labour.

Centaur said...

Fitaloon - exactly how I read it. Blears is quite an appalling specimen.

Tom Paine said...

Dizzy, what is the advantage of detailed, site-by-site, planning control over locally-made zoning plans which designate permitted uses in a given area in broad terms (industrial, commercial, retail, residential) but do not control individual projects?

Wherever there is planning law, there is corruption - especially in areas where political control rarely changes hands. It is inevitable when the value of an economic resource is multiplied many times by the issue of a government permit. Or to put it another - more accurate - way, where the bulk of the value of private property is stripped away by the imposition of a regime of permits.

dizzy said...

Errr I didn;t say there was an advanatge or disadvanatge about those things. I just said that I'm not sure "no planning laws" would be a good situation to have, and that if you must have planning it ashould be locally controlled.