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Planning

Lambeth warns government over brownfield planning changes

Lambeth council is warning the proposed shake-up of the planning system will cut affordable housing, damage neighbourhoods and see a catastrophic drop in investment.

In a letter to the Communities Secretary Greg Clark, Leader of Lambeth council, Cllr Lib Peck, said: “The measures proposed will be detrimental to London, its economy, heritage, public realm and people.”

Lambeth council’s initial analysis of the government proposals suggests that moving the planning system towards one of assumed consent, based on a zonal system would lead to:

  • Detrimental impact on affordable housing provision
  • Damage to diversity of neighbourhoods
  • Loss of inward investment through S106 and CIL
  • Negative impact on local businesses and jobs
  • Decline of quality development
  • Increased pressure on local authorities’ planning departments

Cllr Peck said: “Ninety eight percent of all land in London is brownfield and if all these sites are automatically given consent for solely residential buildings, boroughs will not be able to shape the thriving mixed-use places that make up London. Opportunities for new workspace and local jobs will be lost. Travel distances to work will increase, and there’ll be an impact on street level facilities like local shops and services, community interaction and safe, public spaces. Community cohesion, health and well-being will be irreparably damaged.”

Starter Homes developments would be exempt from Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy contributions which fund affordable housing. Lambeth believes that could mean a 50% reduction in provision, while the discount for first time buyers would still not put homes within reach of most first time buyers.

Cllr Peck warned: “The exemption of funding from developments would be catastrophic – we need this money to pay for essential infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, open space improvements and transport. “

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