Linden Homes Md Ian Baker Welcomes Planning System Overhaul

Leading housebuilder Linden Homes welcomes today’s publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and in particular its immediate implementation.

Ian Baker, Linden Homes Group Managing Director, says the NPPF, which will significantly streamline the planning system, has removed a major obstacle to providing the homes the country desperately needs, as well as creating thousands of new jobs across the country.

He explains: “It’s vital we have a planning system which encourages growth. Communities should welcome the NPPF: it puts in place a plan-led system which ensures the homes that we need are built in line with local councils’ adopted plans. But when those plans are absent, or out-of-date, the presumption in favour of sustainable development will kick in and ensure that desperately needed new homes continue to be delivered.

“We are disappointed with the Government’s decision to include an extended transitional period in the revised document, though we will continue to work with local authorities to promote sites through their strategic planning programme.”

Linden Homes engages with local communities across the country every year to deliver schemes which are an integral part of the community and meet local needs, and the company is also keen to engage with the neighbourhood planning proposals.

Ian Baker explains: “We meet people all the time who are passionate about their neighbourhood but there is frequently little joined-up thinking. Either the Parish Council has no plan, or there is no Parish Council and residents feel little connection with the district.  Now, they can bring focus to their energy, establishing Neighbourhood Forums and getting to work on their Neighbourhood Plan.

“This will certainly help us. First, we will start to see coherent proposals from communities which set out how they want to grow and to which we can respond. Second, the process should draw in a wider cross-section of people – those who are looking to build sustainable communities over the longer term and not just those who are flat opposed to new homes being built.  There is, however, a concern over the number of frontrunners the Government has selected, and the long-term funding for Neighbourhood Plans, so it will be interesting to see how it develops.

“The NPPF will similarly help with this. It will give direction to the structures being put in place by the Localism Act and its agenda of sustainable growth should bring great focus to local communities’ work.

“Linden Homes has a good deal of experience in delivering sustainable developments, something that we’re more than happy to share with local communities. However, the sheer volume of Neighbourhood Plans being contemplated could make that a daunting task for any house builder. We are monitoring the progress of the initial frontrunners with interest and continue to pro-actively engage with these Neighbourhood Forums.”

-ENDS-

For further information, contact Lyndsay Scanlan or Amy Bryant-Jeffries at Remarkable Public Relations on 01962 893 893.

27 March 2012

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