Barratt, Bovis and Redrow pressed for 'presumed yes' response to development applications
“The chiefs of housing firms, including Barratt, Bovis and Redrow , insisted that ministers introduced a planning policy that would mean the default answer to applications would be "yes" – a presumption that would hugely boost their business prospects.
Ministers included the "presumption in favour of sustainable development" as a key plank of the draft national planning policy framework (NPPF), which is due to come into force next spring.
In June 2010, as the policy was being drawn up, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) demanded the presumption, using a strongly worded private letter that was circulated to Chancellor George Osborne, the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, the business secretary, Vince Cable, and the ministers for housing and planning, Grant Shapps and Greg Clark. The federation's representatives said the clause "must be introduced immediately", and that it was among the "absolutely essential requirements" of new planning policy.
The builders stressed that their communication was a "private letter to you and your ministerial colleagues and key government officials, which we are not planning to release to the press".
Housebuilders are poised to win permission to build thousands of homes on greenfield sites due to the policy. They say that they were not the architects of this policy but it has been the stated policy of the Conservative Party since February 2010. It featured in the Tory manifesto and is part of the Coalition agreement.”
How does this affect SNUB well .....
Letters to ministers seen by the Guardian show how, after a meeting in July this year, with Steve Morgan, chairman of Redrow, in which the house builder complained about the "abuse" of judicial review laws used by opponents of developments, Eric Pickles wrote: "I am glad to hear that you will be working closely with my officials to follow up the issues we discussed."
Is a legal challenge a matter for the Courts? This evidence suggests that this may now have been prejudiced by Government Officials and others.
A spokesman for CPRE is calling for the Government to rethink planning reform ‘The evidence suggests that some in government have allowed themselves to get too close to the development lobby”
The evidence from our Local Councils supports that view.
Funny, no suggestion that this was included in the interview with the Editor of the EDP.