LETTER: Final nail in coffin of Localism

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It was reported in the press recently (publicsectorexecutive.com) that a report urges the Government to bring housing within the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime to ‘relieve hard-pressed local authority budgets’.

One of the authors, John Rhodes, was appointed chair of a new Government panel launched by planning minister Brandon Lewis MP last week. The panel is tasked with streamlining councils’ planning processes.

Mr Rhodes said: ‘Remedying the chronic under-provision of housing should be an economic and a social priority.

‘At present, however, developers are denied access to the national infrastructure planning process for housing proposals and thereby denied the use of the single most effective regime for delivering development.

‘With appropriate safeguards in place, the use of the NSIP programme would transform the ability of the private sector to make a meaningful contribution to the national housing crisis’.

The NSIP regime is a result of the Planning Act 2008 to consent to nationally significant infrastructure projects, allowing promoters to apply directly to the Planning Inspectorate for a consent order.

We will all understand what that means following our experience with the Planning Inspectorate.

This is the final nail in the coffin of Localism.

It will be interesting to see if this happens how many council houses or affordable houses will be allocated by the Inspectorate to Horsham and how many developers actually build them.

Social housing is cabinet member Cllr Philip Circus’ portfolio, which of course links to Cllr Vickers’ chief planning role in cabinet.

And so just what are the pair doing about this impending crisis? Has our MP Mr Quin met them to bang their heads together to come up with solutions for our district?

VALERIE WISE

Owlscastle Close, Horsham

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