In a recently published report it came to light that Clark has approved 2530 new homes in Neighbourhood plan areas by means of his recovery powers.
That is 2214 more than his predecessor. This rise has been since the 2015 General Election and came after the start of the temporary recovery powers by the Secretary of State.
The evaluation of the report, by planning consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP), revealed that using his recovery powers, which were founded in July 2014, Greg Clark (Communities Secretary) has approved 2,530 new homes. During that time frame around 545 new homes were dismissed by the SoS due to them conflicting with the neighborhood plan.
In-between the election and when the recovery regime was instigated, research conducted by NLP specified that 316 homes were permitted by SoS. Meanwhile 1348 homes were dismissed by the SoS as a result of them conflicting the neighborhood plan.
During the time frame before the recovery powers only 165 dwellings were permitted by the SoS in neighborhood plan areas. In the meantime, 111 dwelling were dismissed because of a conflict with a neighborhood plan.
The NLP report observed that to date, there are over 1800 designated neighborhood plan areas, as well as there now being over 160 ‘made’ plans. Currently 2,755 homes have been refused at appeal because they clash with the neighborhood plan. Around 60% of current neighborhood plans now in action are together with out-of-date local plans.
Improvements have been suggested by the NLP to help the regime. These include a minimum vote turn out threshold of 35% in order to authorize neighborhood plan referenda.
It was concluded by NLP that so far the results of the neighborhood plan system have varied.
“Some of the positive local planning envisaged has taken place but too often the process has been used as a tool to prevent or frustrate much needed development or cause unintended confusion and uncertainty where local pans have failed to provide this”.
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