What the hell am I talking about?
Answer: the new planning bill put forward by Conservatives or the “developer’s charter” (as it is known by the Labour Party) which makes it easier for developers to ride roughshod over local interest groups and “gags” residents in the area who object to any new developments.
Why are the Conservatives putting such a bill forward?
Answer 1: the Conservatives have said that they are pushing the bill forward in order to make sure that future generations have housing options.
Answer 2: Seeing as how house prices are already sky-high (as a result of millionaires, billionaires and their mates flooding the housing market with dirty money) it seems unlikely that the next generation would even be able to afford whatever houses or apartments that develops might offer.
Most likely answer: Therefore, the most likely reason for the cutting of red tape would be because the Conservative party received wads of developer’s cash. Shadow Community Secretary Steve Reed is quoted in the Guardian as saying that “donations from large developers had risen by 400% under the Boris Johnson leadership.”
How many times have we seen ministers get up in front of parliament and call for some kind of legislature after they have received funding from a vested interest? Clearly the same thing is happening right now. Developers have provided huge swathes of money to the Tory party and now they want to see the return on their investment.
They are getting that return in spades. With no local residents or interest groups (one would assume this includes environmental groups) allowed to stand in their way, developers are free to build where they like, when they like and damn the consequences. An effective green light that would put even more power in the hands of big business whilst cutting themselves free of any collective power that the people should have in their hands when it comes to changes that effect their lives.
Developers are already given wiggle room and the freedom to make their own (often disastrous) choices, the prime one – especially in my area – building on flood plains, using less than suitable building materials or often using no materials at all as was shown in the reason deluge of complaints against Persimmon Homes. Building and selling houses has never been more lucrative, and with the lack of waiting times when it comes from purchasing land to building properties as a result of this bill, they are set to up their profits considerably.
With a flood of properties into the market, one might think that homes might become more affordable. However, houses are never developed at a rate that matches the increase in prices. Unaffordable homes will be shoved on unsuitable land and they will fall directly into the hands of property companies and private landlords at the expense of the next generation. This will add to the wealth divide and we all know what horrors that can bring.