Michael Gove announced yesterday a further extension of the Planning Act that started post war in 1947. This baleful Act has created soulless vast estates of low standard East European style housing.
The Town and Planning Association ( vested interest ) describes the 1947 Act thus-
‘Above all the 1947 system had a radical heart. By nationalising development rights, landowners lost the right to develop their land. They could enjoy the existing use, and those whose land was about to be developed could apply for one-off compensation. To develop land for a new use, you had to apply for planning permission.
It gave the majority of the power to decide these applications to local councils, creating the biggest shift in power between landowning interest and ordinary citizen in British history. Coupled with comprehensive land tax, the 1947 system was elegant in structure and poetic in outcome.’
Elegant in structure and poetic in outcome??? I think the author had taken drink when he wrote that!
Most of our most beautiful towns, cities and villages have never seen a town planner, if they had we would have never have had the shambles in York, and the non-regulation steep streets of Clovelly.
The 1947 Act was a disgraceful piece of Stalinist legislation and de-facto land nationalisation, giving power to bureaucratic committees of frustrated wannabe architects.
Gove has extended this authoritarianism to give your next door neighbour the right to approve or not your extension. He is proposing ‘street committees’ . The last street committee I saw was in Dr Zhivago headed by some hatchet faced Commissar.
This ‘Conservative’ Administration is about conformity and control.
Where self build estates have been ‘permitted’ every house was different , reflecting individual tastes, this is still the norm in both France and Germany.
The Libertarian Party believes that the one million houses we are short of will never be built while housing land is artificially pushed higher by planning restrictions and would repeal this Act.
Andrew Withers FRSA