The House Builders’ Federation held a meeting this week with senior ODPM officials to warn the government against introducing planning guidance that it says would permit local authorities to dictate the design of residential schemes.
A leaked draft of PPG3 has shocked the sector because it allows local planning authorities to prescribe the mix of housing for a whole development, rather than simply for affordable housing covered by section 106 agreements.
Rob Ashmead, HBF chief executive, and John Stewart, director of economic affairs, told Brian Hackland, ODPM director of planning, that the industry “wished to avoid a public argument with the government, but [that] this would be impossible to avoid if the draft was officially made public”.
The HBF has also been lobbying Treasury official Kate Barker, economic secretary John Healey and Paul Boateng, chief secretary to the Treasury, over the issue. It wants the legislation put on ice until all areas of the industry have been consulted.
Letters have been written to Boateng and planning minister Keith Hill putting the HBF’s case over PPG3. Ashmead’s letter to Boateng said that if the guidance came into force, developers would be unable to respond to the needs of the local market.