Planning: balancing climate crisis and housing

London needs affordable housing to address inequality and poverty. We need homes for our workers and families.

London needs to address the climate crisis. Air pollution is already damaging our health. We must protect our green spaces.

London needs to deal with both issues urgently.

The best way to do this is by working with the communities involved. Planning law is set up so that this is a huge challenge. Objections to planning have to be in line with certain considerations, and strength of local opposition isn’t one of these.

How can we change this?

Get involved. Know how to object effectively to planning.

Join a local group; in Ealing: Stop the Towers. Save Gurnell. Warren Farm. Your residents’ association. Keep up to date by signing up for the latest from developments in your area. Old Oak Common needs particular attention.

https://stopthetowers.info/

http://www.savewarrenfarm.com/

http://savegurnell.org.uk/index.html

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/organisations-we-work/old-oak-and-park-royal-development-corporation-opdc?source=vanityurl&utm_content=

Planning applications have to be in guidance with local plans; so making sure the local plan is appropriate and sustainable is crucial. Look out for local plan development– sign up for information here:

https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201164/local_plans

Support plans which develop on existing industrial sites, within reasonable limits and with affordable provision. We need buildings constructed with biodiversity preservation in mind, swift bricks and bat boxes built into the plans, and green space close by.

For real change and to give local communities more say over development in their area, we need change at a national level.

The Green Party propose to repeal the National Planning Policy Framework and instead give power to local councils to assess, with their communities, the housing need. At present this is done by the same firms who work for developers. We need to remove the presumption in favour of allowing development while supporting brownfield development and giving councils more powers to buy land for this.

A nice summary from our Political Programme:

Making it easier for communities to block the wrong type of development: The planning system is based on a presumption in favour of development, which loads the dice in favour of speculative developers seeking high profits. We will repeal this presumption, and replace the current National Planning Policy Framework with spatial plans that preserve ecological habitats and prioritise council house building on brownfield land. A new developer’s duty will ensure that a greater share of the profits that are created when new homes are built goes back to the local council, to be spent on planning new council homes and accessible green spaces for the community. We will use the planning system to increase the amount of green open space – we want everyone to live within 5 minutes’ walk of publicly accessible green spaces.

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/political-programme.html

Lots (and lots) more here on Green Party position on planning:
https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/lp.html

and housing:
https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ho.html

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