Consultation on proposed changes to national planning policy

The Government is currently consulting on amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
 
The consultation is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/488276/151207_Consultation_document.pdf (you may need to cut and paste the URL into a browser rather than clicking)
 
The consultation is examining changes in the following areas:
·         broadening the definition of affordable housing, to expand the range of low cost housing opportunities for those aspiring to own their new home
·         increasing residential density around commuter hubs, to make more efficient use of land in suitable locations
·         supporting sustainable new settlements, development on brownfield land and small sites, and delivery of housing allocated in plans
·         supporting delivery of starter homes
 
Given the current debate in Broxtowe about land use and housing, the specific focus on housing in the consultation is noteworthy and something our councillors would do well do keep in mind as they formulate part 2 of the local plan and make decisions about key sites in the borough.
 
It is worth contrasting the lack of focus on residential provision in Beeston town centre by both the present Conservative council and the predecessor Labour/ Lib Dem coalition with a desire to see Increasing residential density around commuter hubs.  Our brand new tram-bus interchange and the adjacent Phase 2 of the Town Centre look like the perfect place for high density residential development. Yet our council seems to be focusing only on leisure related land uses for a strategically important tract of land that could help improve the economic viability of both Beeston town centre and the shops along Chilwell High Street – both “a short walk away” as the voice-over on the bus might say.
 
The consultation reinforces the commitment to protecting the Green Belt and maintaining the strong safeguards on Green Belt set out in national planning policy. This promise to protect the Green Belt of course was also a mainstay of successful candidates in both the general and local election.  Only 0.1% of land in the Green Belt is previously developed land suitable for housing, often with structures or buildings in place. Limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of such land – where this would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development – is already deemed not inappropriate.
 
Anyone who wants to respond to the consultation can do so by the deadline of 22 February 2016 online at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YZBLFJP

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