Nutrient neutrality rules stifling planning

Nutrient neutrality rules stifling planning

New figures show the Natural England’s response to the nutrient neutrality issue is now holding up an estimated 145,000 new homes.

This is despite the Government quango’s own admission that “the risk from new homes is very small” and Government’s own research finding agricultural run-off and the inaction of water companies to maintain infrastructure to be the overwhelming causes of the nutrient neutrality issue.

The latest Home Builders Federation’s Housing Pipeline report shows the number of planning permissions being granted across England is continuing to nosedive to new record lows. This follows Government proposals to weaken planning rules, in response to lobbying by its NIMBY wing, which has resulted in 58 local authorities withdrawing or pausing local housing plans.

The Housing Pipeline report, based on data supplied by Glenigan, comes on the fourth anniversary of Natural England’s first moratorium on house building in a clumsy attempt to address high phosphate and nitrate levels in rivers. Since then, amidst a deepening housing crisis, bans on development have been imposed on 74 of England’s local authority areas.

Stewart Baseley, HBF executive chair, says: “Despite the fact we face an acute housing crisis, the Government’s policy approach continues to drive housing supply down. There is now clear evidence that planning permissions are plummeting, a direct result of the Governments capitulation to the NIMBY lobby on planning. “Over the last four years Ministers have failed to intervene on Natural England’s disproportionate ban on new homes, which disregards the findings of Government’s own evidence and represents a major misdirection of effort and resources.

“Whilst ministers prevaricate, housing supply is tumbling and the consequences are becoming ever clearer for young people in need of decent housing and builders’ jobs.”

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