Bulk buying land, then selling at profit when it has planning permission, must stop, say local politicians

PUBLISHED: 15:52 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:52 05 November 2018

Conservative MP Lucy Frazer and Councillors Julia Huffer and Joshua Schumann met with Kit Malthouse MP, Minister for Housing, at Westminster. Picture: LUCY FRAZER MP

Conservative MP Lucy Frazer and Councillors Julia Huffer and Joshua Schumann met with Kit Malthouse MP, Minister for Housing, at Westminster. Picture: LUCY FRAZER MP

Archant

Housing in the region was put under the spotlight when local politicians discussed how small rural communities can have a stronger say in planning decisions.

MP Lucy Frazer MPMP Lucy Frazer MP

Conservative MP Lucy Frazer and councillors Julia Huffer and Joshua Schumann met with Kit Malthouse MP, minister for housing, at Westminster.

The meeting was organised by Lucy and arranged to discuss how housing growth can be managed and communities protected against speculative applications.

Ms Frazer said: “The meeting was very informative. Housing minister Kit Malthouse emphasised the importance of local input into local plans and the steps the Government are taking to reduce land banking.

“More, better, faster is the housing minister’s mission statement.

“When housing is built it is vital that infrastructure of all kinds is there to support it first, and working with the local community is key.”

In a joint statement Councillors Huffer and Schumann said: “We took the opportunity to explain to the minister that, despite our best efforts, we were being subjected to housing applications which were putting pressure on our communities.

“We were delighted to hear that measures were being introduced to give the local planning authority more power.

“We will continue to do all we can to ensure that the important issue of housing is one which is managed by the people it effects.”

Fordham and the surrounding villages, represented by the trio, have been subjected to a large number of housing applications and the representatives wanted to take the issue to the highest level to air their concerns.

At the meeting, the minister explained the changes that have been introduced to help towns and villages protect themselves against developments in areas where they do not want it.

The amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the document that governs the decision-making in planning, has strengthened local planning authorities’ ability to combat land banking and ensure growth is focused on identified planned areas.

The minister stressed the importance of having community led plans and identify where housing, employment, green space and infrastructure should be.

Land banking is an investment scheme that involves buying large blocks of undeveloped land with a view to selling it at a profit when it has been approved for development.

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