“Affordable Housing”: main political parties squabble but don’t help to improve it

outh West Tory MPs have come under fire after opposing amendments calling for tougher rules on “habitable” homes and stable supplies of affordable housing.

The criticism from Lib Dem and Labour MPs follows the successful passage of the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill, which introduced a raft of reforms to the housing sector.

A total of 16 Devon and Cornwall Conservatives voted against the opposition amendments, leading to accusations the party “doesn’t give a monkeys” about the region’s low income families.

But MPs have hit back at the claims, dismissing the proposals as “unnecessary political posturing”. …

http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Tory-MPs-accused-giving-monkeys-affordable/story-28534209-detail/story.html

Case law on 5-year land supply and NPPF

“The Court Of Appeal has this week been hearing joined appeals on the meaning of a key section of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) relating to “policies for the supply of housing”.

Cornerstone Barristers reported that the principle at issue in the cases of Hopkins Homes Ltd v SSCLG and Cheshire East BC v SSCLG is the meaning and scope of paragraph 49 NPPF which provides that “relevant policies for the supply of housing” are “out of date” when the authority cannot demonstrate a 5-year supply of housing sites.

“The consequence of the relevant policies being out of date is that paragraph 14 NPPF and its presumption in favour of permission is engaged, with radically different prospects of success for the applicant,” the set said.

According to Cornerstone, the meaning of paragraph 49 has been subject to at least three competing constructions in judgments of the High Court since the NPPF came into force in 2012.

The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal on the basis that the paragraph 49 issue was of “wider importance” as well as standing a real prospect of success.

Jonathan Clay and Ashley Bowes of Cornerstone are appearing for Suffolk Coastal District Council, the appellant in the Hopkins case.

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25682:court-of-appeal-hears-key-cases-on-policies-for-the-supply-of-housing&catid=60&Itemid=28

Flood defence cuts ” false economy” says Claire Wright

” … In November 2014, a damning report from the National Audit Office (NAO)found the risk of flooding was indeed RISING as a result of government funding cuts. Furthermore, half the nation’s flood defences had been left with “minimal” maintenance, according to the spending watchdog.

The NAO also contradicted Cameron’s claim that his government was spending more than ever before on flood defences. Funding had fallen by 10 per cent in real terms, said the NAO, when £270m of one-off emergency funding after the 2013-14 floods was excluded.

Flood defences are big ticket items and hard to fund when the nation’s finances are tight. But not finding the money is a clear false economy, as well as causing misery to many people. The NAO report said every £1 spent on flood defences prevented almost £10 in damage. It noted that Cameron’s £270m bail-out was poor substitute for sustained spending: “Ad-hoc emergency spending is less good value than sustained maintenance.”

The government’s £2.3bn of planned capital spending on flood defences over the next six years compares to £15bn on roadsover the same period – and almost £16bn on high-speed rail. …”

http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Comment-Cuts-spending-flood-defences-false/story-28533310-detail/story.html

http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Comment-Cuts-spending-flood-defences-false/story-28533310-detail/story.html

“Shifting Sands” a talk on the effect of weather on the south west coastline

“Discover the effects of the weather on our south west coastline and see what our future coastline could look like. Join Phil Dyke, National Trust Coastal and Marine Advisor, for a talk about the management of our coastline.”

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, Gallery 20
Tuesday 19 January 2016 13.00 –
Tickets £6, concessions £4

Apply online at:
http://exeterramm.admit-one.eu/?p=tickets&perfCode=412&ev=22348

Cloudy Transparency

10 EDDC meetings listed in this week’s Knowledge:

1 cancelled ( but would have been in private)
2 not needed (Licensing meetings, no licenses up for discussion)
3 meetings in public: Scrutiny, Housing Review and Development Management Committee, where it would be hard to justify secrecy

4 meetings in private:

Asset Management( in spite of assurances that this could be public with only commercially sensitive matters in Part B)

Recycling and Refuse Board Partnership

Community Fund Panel (ANOTHER group with no minutes and no agendas, save a passing reference in January 2015

Transparency gets more opaque.

10 EDDC meetings listed in this week’s Knowledge:

1 cancelled ( but would have been in private)
2 not needed (Licensing meetings, no licenses up for discussion)
3 meetings in public: Scrutiny, Housing Review and Development Management Committee, where it would be hard to justify secrecy

4 meetings in private:

1. Asset Management( in spite of assurances that this could be public with only commercially sensitive matters in Part B)

2. Recycling and Refuse Board Partnership

3. “Community Fund Panel” – which appears to meet in secret to decide whaT to spend money on. As its funds totals only about £22,500 per year it is hard to see why its deliberations are in private. Wouldn’t you want to know why your parish didn’t get funds yet another one did?

4. An intriguing meeting on “Work and Issues facing the Major Project Team in Development Management” ( another secret group with no agendas or minutes? Anyone seen anything about this group and its remit?). Presumably called to justify the hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on more staff in Development Management. But we will never know!

Click to access the-knowledge-8-january-2016-issue-33.pdf

Dyed water shows developer responsible for flooding

A developer has admitted a pond on its housing estate has contributed to flooding of nearby properties’ gardens.
Residents of Acacia Close in Bideford, Devon, have complained about the flooding since the College Park estate was built two years ago.

Tests by the local authority using dyed water have now traced the floodwater to a pond on the estate. Redrow Homes has apologised and said it would remedy the problem “as soon as possible”.

The College Park estate has a drainage pond from which water flows into the road. But after the estate was built, residents living near the pond noticed their gardens were being flooded.

A dye test by Torridge District Council carried out 12 months ago was inconclusive, but the council did another test after complaints continued.

Reuben Cooke, technical manager of Redrow Homes in the West Country, said the firm was “very sorry” about the flooding.

“The drainage system we implemented was approved by the Environment Agency and Devon County Council and we believed was appropriate for the development,” he said. “We are now in discussion with Devon County Council to change the design of the drainage system to alleviate the flooding affecting the gardens at Acacia Close.”

Terry Williams, 75, who lives with wife Olwyn, 71, in Acacia Close, said they feared the flooding could come into their home. “The stress has been unbelievable because no-one would accept it was their problem,” he said. “We are both retired and we don’t deserve this sort of aggro.”

Torridge District Council said in a statement: “Provisional plans have already been drawn up so we are hopeful that the matter can progress quickly.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-35318276