Thursday, June 14, 2007

'Divorced from reality'

It is not just Alan Whitehead who has got a monopoly for mad housing policies. Ming Campbell's Joseph Rowntree lecture is off the wall.

He proposes that green field sites would only be granted planning permission if the land was sold to the council, if necessary using compulsory purchase powers. The council would then secure planning permission and sell the plot on to developers, keeping the profit to pay for (undefined)local services. Campbell argues landowners would take part because they could still sell for more money than the land was worth without permission.

The potential for corruption is immense. Officers, Councillors, Farmers, Developers- they will all be in on the act. It seems crazy to me that on an everyday basis, councils will have the ability to approve, indeed initiate schemes that will make them vast sums of money. And is it right and proper that councils will be able to do things regarding the development of land that private individuals will be ineligible to do?

The Country Land and Business Association describe the proposals as "completely divorced from reality".



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