Saturday 31 July 2010

Affordable Housing

There is not and never could be a Legal definition of Affordable Housing. Built examples range from those out of reach of all the local young people to those that are only affordable by huge public subsidies, by local government housing associations and local make work bodies.
Affordable is site specific let alone Parish or County criteria. I am reminded of the early debates about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. A futile exercise.
This is not the answer to local housing problems. Wales has always exported its young,more survive localy than at any time in the past. Does it make for happy successful communities, young people existing on State benefits and make work low paid non jobs.

Friday 23 July 2010

Coalition Planning Law Changes

Coalition changes announced in Parliament apply to England. Planning is devolved. BUT the annual financial settlements can constrain the Wales Assembly Government and other bodies in Wales without no local  input.
It is important that we are aware of this and critically examine all Coalition Legislation and make our concerns in Wales clearly to the Wales Assembly.
For example 25 "affordable houses".who defines affordable.
This is site specific.
Planning referenda to be held at the same time as local elections. planning meetings are now held monthly with a fixed timetable so the proposals as announced will slow planning.
Many parishes in Wales would be overpowered by twenty five new houses. Who decides about the adequacy of local services.
Who controls consolidation of ground protection of watercourses traffic flow parking and so on.
This is yet another unthought out Policy with unforseen consequences.