“New Zealand bans sales of homes to [many] foreigners”

It can be done.

“New Zealand’s parliament has banned many foreigners from buying existing homes in the country – a move aimed at making properties more affordable.

The ban only applies to non-residents. Australians and Singaporeans are exempt because of free-trade deals.

New Zealand is facing a housing affordability crisis which has left home ownership out of reach for many.

Low interest rates, limited housing stock and immigration have driven up prices in recent years.

Is it a total ban?

No, only non-residents are affected by the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, which was passed in a 63-57 vote on Wednesday.

They are now banned from purchasing most types of homes – but they will be able to make limited investments in new apartments in large developments.
Foreigners with residency status in New Zealand – as well as non-resident Australian and Singaporean nationals – are not affected by the ban….”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45199034

Social housing: sticking plaster on a haemorrhage

“The Government’s long awaited social housing green paper has concentrated on improving relations between residents’ and landlords but has disappointed councils by offering no new powers to support house building.

Among the main proposals in A new deal for social housing are publication of key performance indicators to allow residents to compare landlords, a revived stock transfer programme, a right-to-buy exercisable in stages and more effective resolution of complaints.

Judith Blake, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesperson, said: “This green paper is a step towards delivering more social homes but it is only a small step, compared with the huge and immediate need for more genuinely affordable homes.

“The Government must go beyond the limited measures announced so far, scrap the housing borrowing cap, and enable all councils, across the country, to borrow to build once more.”

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr – who represents housing associations – said: “Our members fully share the Government’s commitment to ensuring tenants get the quality services they need – and that they can hold their landlords to account if they don’t.”

He added: “Without significant new investment in the building of more social housing, it is very hard to see how it can be a safety net and springboard for all the people who desperately need it.” …”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36407%3Acouncil-concern-at-lack-of-new-powers-in-green-paper-to-support-housebuilding&catid=60&Itemid=28

A useful critique on new planning regulations (local councils stay silent on their views)

Why CPRE thinks it is a developers’ charter (again):

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/new-planning-policy-framework-slammed-1892197

CLINTON DEVON SERVE EVICTION NOTICE ON 11 SPECIES OF BAT

A new nature protection group has been formed in East Budleigh to try to save eleven species of bat from having their habitat destroyed. Six of these species are amongst the rarest found in Britain. The story has broken today simultaneously on BBC Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight, presented by Adrian Campbell, and in the Exmouth Journal.

Owl will comment after using the following Journal story to set the scene:

“Landowners have defended their plan to redevelop an area of land in East Budleigh amid concerns for wildlife living on the site.

Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) has applied for permission to demolish a barn at The Pound, in Lower Budeigh, and replace it with a new dwelling.

Residents have raised concerns about the bats that have traditionally called the barn their home.

There are also concerns about access to the site; it is argued to be through the centre of The Pound, which is claimed to be in the village’s built-up area boundary.

CDE say the new building will provide ‘conditions more suitable’ for bats, including a dedicated loft area and ground floor with free flight access for the animals.

Writing in objection to the application, Mr and Mrs Moyle said: “We should be proud that we have so many rare bats, including gray long-eared bats, which are very rare.

“Building this so-called bat house means we have no proof that the bats will use it.

“It is being built a long way from the barn, so we are likely to lose out rare bats.”

Another letter, from a Mrs Maynard, said: “This is an absolutely ridiculous and totally unnecessary attempt to develop what is at present is an extremely pretty corner of a very lovely village.”

A spokesman for Clinton Devon Estates said: “The new building, whilst smaller than the existing barn, has been designed to provide conditions more suitable for breeding bats in the summer; for example, it will have a slate roof to provide a warm loft, as opposed to a draughty metal shed. “It will also have a cool ground floor to provide fairly stable winter temperature and high humidity, with the aim of providing a potential winter roost.

“For horseshoe and long-eared bat species, a dedicated loft area and ground floor with free flight access will be provided.

“For crevice-dwelling bat species, roosting provision will be provided in various places within the bat barn, including bat slates, a raised ridge tile, timber cladding, a Schwegler bat tube and internal crevices.”

CDE providing a brand new Des. Res. for free? There must be a catch.

Owl fears for these bats.

Are they going to be sent away for a holiday by the sea whilst their ancient barn (oldest still standing in East Budleigh) is bulldozed away and their new bat loft constructed?

Temporary social housing is a non-starter. As mentioned in one of the Spotlight interviews, what are they going to do for food. They feed on moths but the overgrown habitat of the moths is also going to be bulldozed?

And how are they going to navigate when the trees they use for echo location have also been razed to the ground as well?

Owl has many, many bat friends who join it in its nocturnal foreys and is VERY protective of them.

However, for the status of Clinton Devon Estates environmental credentials see just a few recent Owl stories here (there are many more):

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/02/09/clinton-devon-estates-pr-team-working-overtime-on-blackhill-quarry/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/09/07/clinton-devon-estates-and-budleigh-hospital-garden-a-pr-nightmare-for-today-and-tomorrow/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/03/14/eddc-local-plan-not-fit-for-purpose-as-developer-and-clinton-devon-estates-challenge-succeeds-at-newton-poppleford/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/11/15/clinton-devon-estates-wants-to-make-it-easier-to-build-in-aonb/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/05/09/beer-officers-recommend-refusal-of-clinton-devon-estates-development-in-aonb/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/08/04/east-budleigh-clinton-devon-5-houses-with-fourteen-parking-spaces-in-aonb-on-grade-1-agricultural-land/

EDDC objects to new Exeter shopping centre in Cranbrook’s back yard!

Makes a change to see EDDC objecting to anything that developers want – but in this case they do NOT want the Exeter City Council-led Moor View shopping centre in Cranbrook’s back yard!

And how many times have we pleaded for impact assessments and sequential tests on developments in East Devon, only to be told they are not required! Boot now on other foot!

Officer comments on the proposed development which Exeter City Council officers are recommending although it goes against their own Local Plan.

“East Devon New Community Partners (Cranbrook developers) Objects

The applicants have stated that one of the purposes of the development is to provide retail facilities for new business and residential communities, some of which are in East Devon.

However, these developments have been designed with their own centres/ancillary facilities, which represent the most sustainable solution to meeting the needs of people living and working in the area and the proposal could undermine the viability and deliverability of these.

The Moor Exchange development should not be seen as being in any way necessary to meet these needs.

The applicants have not carried out a sequential test or impact assessment of the proposal on Cranbrook Town Centre.

This is contrary to the NPPF and PPG.

Land is available at Cranbrook Town Centre to meet the identified need. There is already development in the consented town centre at Cranbrook which would face competition from this development and emerging developments will also be affected.

The impact assessment should take into account existing development and development expected to come forward over the next 5 years.

The response stating that Cranbrook Town Centre is not identified as a town centre on the Local Plan proposals map is semantics – Strategy 12 refers to the provision of a town centre at Cranbrook.

It also has outline consent. It will be included on the proposals map for the forthcoming Cranbrook Plan DPD.”

Project Planning Fear: MP Truss says rip up planning rules or get Corbyn!

“A cabinet minister faced a furious backlash yesterday after saying the Tories must build homes in the countryside – or they will hand power to Jeremy Corbyn.

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said planning laws should be ripped up as she complained about the number of Nimbys in Britain.

The outspoken minister said ‘a lot more’ sites needed to be opened up. She also called for those living in cities to be allowed to add extra floors to their homes without needing permission. Miss Truss argued the house-building overhaul was needed to keep Mr Corbyn out of Downing Street at the next election.

Liz Truss argued the house-building overhaul was needed to keep Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) out of Downing Street at the next election

But Tory colleagues warned the party would be ‘run out of office’ if it went ahead with ‘catastrophic’ proposals that fail to protect rural Britain and the green belts around London and other major cities.

The row comes a day after campaigners warned the green belt is already being ‘gobbled up at an alarming rate’ to build thousands of homes.

A report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, published yesterday, showed plans for almost 460,000 homes have been pencilled in for green belt land since 2013 as councils lift planning protections, opening the way for developers.

Asked in an interview whether she would you be happy to ‘start paving over our green and pleasant land’, Miss Truss replied: ‘I do think we need to open up more land for building, a lot more. There are a lot Nimbys in Britain.’

Questioned on whether there are many ‘not in my backyard’ objectors in her own party, she said: ‘There are, but I think it is a dwindling number.

‘People recognise the choice is building on more greenfield sites and making sure there are enough homes for next generation or losing the election and ending up with Jeremy Corbyn, whose policy appears to be appropriating property.

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said planning laws should be ripped up as she complained about the number of Nimbys in Britain

‘So I know which one I’d choose – it’s having more homes available on the open market for people of whatever generation to afford.’ The minister added: ‘I also think we need to make it easier to build up in cities. I quite like the Japanese system where essentially you can build up on top of your house without having to get extra planning permission. I think we need to be more liberal about these policies.’

Miss Truss, who was appointed second-in-command at the Treasury last June after previously serving as justice secretary and environment secretary, said in the interview with the Financial Times’ politics podcast that she would one day like to be the country’s first female chancellor. ‘Well, who would say no to that?’ she said.

But when asked if she would like to be prime minister, Miss Truss, who is MP for South West Norfolk, replied: ‘I’m not sure about that one.’

Tory former minister Crispin Blunt last night warned the party it would suffer an electoral ‘catastrophe’ if it does not protect the green belt. The MP for Reigate, who is co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for London’s green belt, said Conservative local councillors already faced being ‘run out of office’ in areas where ministers had raised housebuilding targets.

‘Residents’ associations are going off their rocket,’ he said.

Mr Blunt said trying to meet demand in the South East was ‘sucking the best and brightest out of the North’. Hindering development in the South-East would encourage growith in the North, he added.

Tom Fyans of the CPRE said: ‘We agree that there is a severe lack of affordable homes available for people to buy and rent.

‘However, what Liz Truss fails to recognise is that, opening up the green belt will not solve this issue.

Tory former minister Crispin Blunt (pictured) last night warned the party it would suffer an electoral ‘catastrophe’ if it does not protect the green belt

‘Almost three quarters of the homes built on green belt land last year were unaffordable.’ He said the ‘perfect solution’ to ‘this barbaric assault on the green belt’ was to use brownfield land to its full capacity.

The CPRE’s report showed there are plans for almost 460,000 homes on green belt land. Green belt areas can be built on if councils grant planning permission directly or remove the land’s official status. Both methods have been used.

Only 70 houses or flats were built in the green belt in 2009/10 compared with 8,143 in 2017/18.

Miss Truss has become one of the most prominent advocates in the Cabinet for free market liberalism. Earlier this year, she attracted attention for a speech in which she appeared to ridicule the Prime Minister’s plan to ban plastic straws.”

http://35.192.208.249/2018/08/07/tory-minister-liz-truss-sparks-fury-after-demanding-laws-protecting-green-fields-are-ripped-up/

“If we value rural Britain, we can’t build houses all over it”

“Government housing policy has lost all contact with planning Britain’s countryside. This week the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) is up in arms over house-building in green belts, and over the lack of what it calls affordable housing. These are a distraction. It is planning as such that has collapsed.

The CPRE is concerned that 8,000 houses were built last year on green-belt land, or 24,000 over the past decade, and that hardly any were affordable. This has predictably raised a green light over all green belts, with developers rushing forward with applications for 460,000 new homes now in process. Already, unplanned and sprawling “toy-town” estates are spreading across the home counties, the Fens, the Somerset Levels and the Severn Valley. It has sucked development into the south-east of England, denuded town centres and put ever more pressure on transport corridors. It is the worst sort of “non-planning”.

New green belt housing applications push total to a record 460,000
The issue should not be green-belt building or affordability. All rural land is now in contention. As for affordability – usually 20% off market price – such a subsidy is always short-term, and should never be a loophole for allowing building where it would otherwise be stopped.

New houses in the countryside have intense local impact, yet they form a trivial element in the housing market, of which some 90% involves existing stock. Policy should be aimed at genuinely boosting supply. This means cutting Britain’s shocking underoccupation of existing buildings. It means help with downsizing and subletting. It means not taxing sales, as stamp duty does. It means densifying urban sites and being more flexible on building uses. Modern “green” development is in cities.

Local planning must be restored. The government claims the right to decide how many new people come to Britain. It should grant local people the same right, to control the pace and nature of settlement in their communities. New planning rules deny them that right. They dictate that, should local people fight imposed targets, they will lose any further say in the matter, allowing free rein to development. It is heads we win, tails you lose localism.

Britain’s reputation for town-and-country planning has all but evaporated over the past decade. Each change in planning rules, usually dictated by the building lobby, has drawn ever more of the countryside into speculative play. The solution does not lie in arguing over a few hundred green-belt acres and a few thousand subsidised houses. County land-use planning has to be restored. Landscape considered worthy of long-term preservation – and much of it is still outside national parks – should be “listed” for its scenic and environmental value, like conservation areas in towns. Other land could then be declared a potentially developable land bank.

Listing the landscape would replace the present fighting with proper planning. Everyone would know where they stood. Rural Britain would not, as now, be up for speculative land grab. The old mistakes would not be repeated.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/06/planning-system-uk-landscapes-listing-rural-britain