19th October 2020

Campaign to Protect Rural England calls for people to object to proposed Government planning reforms by 29th October

Government's Planning Reforms Will Have Devastating Effect on our locality

BCP Parish Councils and Community Groups

The twelve week consultation period for the proposed White Paper reforms prepared by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, comes to an end on the 29th October.

The government proposals for revising the planning system would be very damaging.

It is considered that locally-led development offers the best outcomes for people and nature. It can ensure that the right development is in the right place, and create places where people actually want to live. The reforms will only serve to undermine local voices, by preventing communities from managing their own neighbourhoods: the role of parish councils and other valued community groups (in focussing opinions and commenting on planning applications) will largely be removed.

Our key concerns are:

  • Unwarranted over-development in our County, involving significantly higher housing numbers than are required to meet local need.
  • A significant loss of local democracy and a further reduction of the public involvement in the planning process – both our Unitary Councils must “Stand Up” for Dorset (and all its residents) rather than give in to the demands from Westminster.
  • No improvements to the existing inadequate ‘protection’ of the precious bio-diverse Dorset environment that warrants National Park Status.
  • Attempts to address the Climate Emergency remain pitiful, with the government’s aim to deliver carbon neutral homes only by 2050.
  • The current proposals would result in the building of even fewer genuinely affordable homes – homes which are so needed by young families to ensure a thriving future for our communities and economy.

Download Dorset CPRE independent report

Excessive Housing Threat

Dorset CPRE commissioned an independent report which was published recently that heavily criticised the government’s Standard Housing Method for assessing local housing need. The government used 2014 household projections rather than the later projections which do indicate much lower housing needs.

The White Paper seeks to boost national housebuilding to 337,000 dwellings per year and, whilst current targets in Dorset are already too high, it seems government-imposed housing targets could rise still more and by a significant amount. Such targets are based on an algorithm which is attracting increasing criticism, like other government algorithms this year. Many Parliamentarians are expressing concern that the proposed planning reforms would destroy our natural assets (including leafy suburbia !) and create future slums.

Reply to Government consultation on Planning White Paper

Last responses must be in by 29th October

We are suggesting you make your views clear to the Unitary Council (that should be working with you) and directly to the government via its consultation on the website (www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future), if you have not already done so. Last responses must be in by 29th October. It is clear that both Dorset Unitary Authorities are very concerned, yet it is unclear how far they are prepared to challenge government.

We are also asking you to tell your local Dorset MP what you think about excessive housing, the threat to Dorset’s precious environment, and the continuing singular failure to provide genuinely affordable and social housing which our young families need!