First Neighbourhood Plan Rejected at Referendum – Give a Medal to Its Examiner Nigel Mc Gurk

This is how not to do neighbourhood planning.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Swanick in Amber Valley is England’s first Neighbourhood Plan rejected at referendum after the Parish Council recommended a no vote after they disagreed with the independent examiner – Nigel Mc Gurk’s s report.  They complained it had been ‘gutted‘ and that he had done similar at Alweras were the Parish Council recommended it be withdrawn.  In Swanick the district hadn’t even asked the Parish council or informed them of the referendum date, contrary to the regulations.

Are we dealing with a rogue examiner here – no he was simply doing his job.  Both plans were badly written with large restrictive and unjustified local green space designations  (meeting none of the tests in the NPPF) and no housing allocations.  Swanick capped housing at the bottom of the range of need identified by the district without justification.  Neither plan was positive or proactive.

Both parishes were poorly served by their districts.  The neighbourhood…

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Is this MP’s comment accurate? Or is he really just clueless?

My reason for the title of this piece, is the paragraph highlighted in bold.  It suggests that Lincolnshire has a unique system when it comes to the election of its county councillors.  Unlike everywhere else in the country that holds local government elections, with an individual standing in a defined location, it would seem that Mr McCartney thinks that this doesn’t happen in Lincolnshire.

He seems to think that it’s like the MPs, police and crime commissioners, the London mayor and no doubt mayors elected through devo deals.  Selected people are parachuted in to fight the election, based on their party politics, not their personal connection with the area they wish to represent.  Is he really that clueless, or does he know something the rest of us don’t?

Member of Parliament for Lincoln Karl McCartney said: “It’s hugely disappointing – but not at all surprising in some respects – that Lincolnshire’s County Councillors have voted against the “devolution and elected Mayor for Greater Lincolnshire” proposals”. Campaigners say would help develop transport, housing, skills-training and flood risk management schemes.

“I’ve always been very much in support of taking financial power away from the county councillors, most of whom are from the south of the county and tend to take a parochial outlook on matters wherever and whenever possible“.

County Councils do do the Dirty Work for DCLG on Late Plans

What goes around comes around.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Until today the SoS was faced with the unwelcome task of doing local plans him or herself where they dont meet next Aprils deadline

But a new clause is proposed in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill gives default powers to County Councils if they so wish.

There is also a clause for the SoS to order joint plans.

An intriguing clause provides for the SoS to set ‘data standards’ for LDSs and LDDs.

What might these be – limits on pages perhaps?  Word limits?  Possibly numbers for housing overspill from major conurbations maybe.

These cover most of the recommendations of the Local Plan Experts Group.

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Ways of Ending Land Hoarding so that Housing Markets Clear

Throwing more public money at the private sector to build the slums of the future faster.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Quite a lot of interest in the H&C Agency proposal for the government to underwrite the price of unsold homes.


A £2bn fund to boost housebuilding could be used by the government to offer guarantees to developers that it will step in to take on properties that they are unable to sell.

The Conservative party unveiled plans on Monday for £5bn worth of funding to support housebuilding, £2bn of which was designed to provide 15,000 new homes on public land by 2020.

The accelerated construction fund, could be used to underwrite new developments on public land, and could mean the government taking on unsold properties, according to Sir Edward Lister, the chairman of the Homes andCommunities Agency (HCA), which will oversee it.

“So it’s about us going to a housebuilder and instead of expecting the normal build-out rate of 50 units a year we’ll say, ‘We want…

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