More ‘reforms’ for English planning

14 March 2020 The government publishes proposals for changes to planning in England at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/robert-jenrick-plans-for-the-future-to-get-britain-building

Paul Burnham comments: Both this document and the letter to the Mayor (see previous post) share this objective, ‘Everyone should have the chance to save for and buy their own home so they can have a stake in society.’

In other words, home ownership is seen as full citizenship, and to be a renter (or homeless) is to be outside society, and not to be able or willing to share in its progress – or to be concerned about ‘society’ in the same way.

In the early Nineteenth Century, the ‘stake in the country argument’ was used to deny those without land (by ownership or tenancy) the right to vote; and this remained the case until the electoral reforms of 1918 and then in the 1940s.
Okay back to 2020, it’s worth noting that there is little or no distinction in planning policy within ‘market’ housing between owner occupied and private rent properties: the ‘best’ and the worst tenures for residents are simply shunted together as one.   The fate of the poor in practice is thus private renting, and it is private landlordism rather than home ownership which is being supported here.
This is all packed with bad news. The use and extension of permitted development rights for developers will be a big campaigning point.
Kind regards
Paul Burnham
Secretary
Haringey Defend Council Housing

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