South Suffolk MP calls for protections against developers 'gaming the system'

The MP for South Suffolk has called on the Government to protect districts against speculative development, as Babergh deals with the loss of its five-year land supply.

James Cartlidge held a debate at the Houses of Parliament last week, answered by MP Nigel Adams from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to address concerns about the impact of the five-year land supply measure in planning policy.

Under the National Planning Policy Framework, local planning authorities are required to demonstrate they have a five-year supply of land for housing development.

“The five-year land supply issue has become increasingly controversial in the Babergh district,” said Mr Cartlidge.

“It seems irrefutable that, once a district loses this measure of housing delivery, speculative development follows, and the public find themselves having far less influence.

“Put simply, the chances of communities getting left with development they wholly oppose is far greater.

“I, therefore, felt it important to call a debate in Westminster, given that I know many other colleagues share my concern.

“Without the five-year measure in place, speculative developers can game the system, knowing that even if the council rejects their plan, they have far greater chance of winning on appeal.

“The issue lies with those districts, like Babergh, that are doing the right thing and granting permissions for development, but is not reaching its five-year land supply due to developers not starting construction.

“I will be calling on the Government to consider councils on the number of permissions that have been granted, rather than the build-out rate.

“The result of this would be to avoid opportunities for speculative development and, instead, require developers to complete the sites for which they have already received permission.”


Published by the Suffolk Free Press.