Tory MPs back plan to give people a vote on new housing in their areas | Housing

Conservative MPs are calling on the housing secretary, Michael Gove, to hand better decision-making powers over new housing to native people in an try to increase acceptance of new developments.

Steve Baker and Greg Smith, Tory MPs in house-price hotspots in Buckinghamshire, are backing a plan to strip councils of decision-making powers over some new developments and incentivise residents as a substitute to approve new schemes.

The proposal to lengthen localism comes as Gove and his advisers rethink authorities planning reforms, which bumped into indignant opposition in the Tory shires as a result of they diminished native participation in planning and gave builders a freer hand.

Baker and Smith are backing an concept floated by the Social Market Foundation thinktank to enable residents of streets or villages to vote on whether or not to settle for further growth in their shut neighborhood. The idea is that they’re extra probably to assist permitting extra extensions or new properties on underused websites in the event that they stand to profit themselves from the planning consents.

“It is clear that we cannot continue with our current planning system,” mentioned Baker. “Costs and disbenefits are imposed on individuals without adequate inclusion in the process or adequate compensation being provided. We need to give the public the opportunity to say ‘no’ to planning proposals, but the incentives to say ‘yes’ because they see the gains for their community.”

The authorities has mentioned 300,000 new properties want to be constructed every year to meet demand. In the final 12 months for which knowledge is offered – up to the top of June 2021 – 183,450 have been constructed in England.

The report, written by John Myers, who runs the YIMBY Alliance (sure in my back yard) marketing campaign, suggests villagers “should have more power to allow high-quality, attractive development next to the village when they see benefits for the community”.

“In towns or cities, residents of a stretch of street should have the right to conduct a street vote to set out the rules for new extensions or more ambitious development,” Myers writes. “A mews vote could similarly allow residents of houses surrounding a stretch of waste ground to give permissions to add new mews cottages.”

Greg Smith, the MP for Buckingham, mentioned: “Planning in the UK is broken. Driving through our villages, signs proclaiming ‘no to xxx houses’ or ‘no new development here’ are commonplace – and politicians ignore that at our peril. This new paper proposes a fundamentally good principle of genuine localism and people power.”

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