23/10/2011 The Politics Show South


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In the South, if not in my backyard, then whose? We look at the


Government's new planning system. Aware deliver housing or concrete


over the green belts? After Dale Farm, what is going on


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1774 seconds


Welcome to the part of the show especially for us. I am Peter


Henley. Today, we saw the eviction from the Dale Farm travellers' site


this week, but controversy over travellers' sites is not confined


to Essex. We have had a lot of trouble from travellers' sites,


they leave it in such a terrible mess.


Warned that later. One thing the Government has been keen on from


the start is reform of the planning system. They did away with the


regional spatial strategies which detailed how much house building


needed to be done and where. They have just finished the consultation


of what will be put in its place, the National Policy Planning


Framework or NPPF. It has had plenty of claims attached to it.


That it will allow developers to build everywhere, that it will be a


nimby's charter or that it will empower local communities to say


what power -- development they want. It cannot be all of those things,


so to tease out what it might actually be, we have a range of


guests in the studio. We have someone from the Federation of


Master house builders, a Conservative MP and Leader of the


Opposition on Hampshire County Council.


We want houses, so prices continue to rise. I knew getting what you


would like to see from the Coalition Government? It is fair to


say that broadly, we welcome NPPF. It is not a question of the fact


that we want houses. The reality is that we need houses. And business.


But the country needs houses. in excess of 230,000 every year is


what is required from 2008 to 2033. Last year, we built just under


103,000. The ongoing disparity between new houses, new households


and the Net build affect means that by the time we get to the end of


this Parliament, we will need to build, in affect, enough houses to


create a new Birmingham. In excess of 500,000 households. Scrapping


those regional targets, that just slowed the whole process down,


didn't it? It is about getting a better system in freight -- place.


The point about pent-up demand is real. We are all meeting people who


come to see us at surgery he want homes, affordable homes, they want


to get onto the property ladder. No-one has got anything to fear.


The consultation has just finished. Select committees will be looking


at this in the autumn. We are open to sensible ideas for change. This


is about making the planning system more efficient. We want to make it


sustainable in the long term. going to be quick enough? I believe


it will be quick enough, although it will be difficult to say at this


stage. The test will come in practice. The National Trust has


been doing a bit of lobbying. You are concerned this is a rush for


development. We have concerns. We have from the outset been clear


about what our concerns are, and they are not that we are against


development. We have built hundreds of houses over the last couple of


years as the National Trust. What we have concerns about is that the


planning system will be turned into a primary economic development will.


The rest of the van system will be forgotten. Our concern is that this


will be run on short-term economic development. We have concerns about


that, and what we want to see is that the NPPF should look at all


sides of the sustainable development policy. Planning should


be for the Environment, it for social command and for profit. But


we should make sure the planning system is about people, not short-


term profit. One was that not bearing the first place? I think


that is some sloppy wording. I do not think this -- there was a fear


about an untrammelled development. I think there has been some


scaremongering about this document. Know. Not subtle. The National


Trust has been very clear. We are concerned about the two-thirds of


the south-west's countryside which is an protected. It is not about


areas are out -- areas of outstanding national beauty, but


about the unprotected two-thirds of the countryside. If you look at how


many officials, something like twice as many as officials from the


Treasury behind this paper than there were from Defra. You are


missing the point. It is about returning powers to local people.


No council in its right mind is going to allow development right at


the way across the countryside. If you have local control, you will


get the best decisions for local communities. The problem we have


had in the past is that planning has been centralised, it has been


about officials in Whitehall and Westminster. This is about handing


power back to local communities. It might not speeded up, but it would


get better results. In what speeded-up G that is a problem for


you. We do not know if it is going to speed it up or not. We will not


know until it is implemented. The consultation process has not


finished. I would make the point that we are looking at changing a


process. If those process changes - - that process changes, we are not


going to see banks suddenly turning down credit. Money will not


suddenly become available to builders. It is not going to be as


simple as that. That is a problem. This is about a dress in a system


which has become incredibly complex, come the Senate and out of control.


There are thousands of pages of guidance for certain things. The


one thing that it has been good for his membership of the National


Trust, which must be booming. because people care much about


protecting the countryside. people who care about protecting it


are those who live there. That is why a, if you return proper power,


people will not allow their councillors to come up with


inappropriate developments which are on the communities they live in.


Will they allow any development? One of the problems with the


planning system is that people do not trusted any more, because it


has not give them -- given them what they wanted. It should be


about local communities, meeting community needs. It also includes


jobs, schools, roads and everything else we need to make society work.


For example it, if you take the slowing-down since the general


election in planning. The result of that in my patch is that we have


saved green fields from 300,000 homes that would have been built on


the last Government's regime. We added to get those homes built in


the right places, in towns, in existing communities. We want to


see good development, I think everyone agrees on that. Will we


get it? That is the concern. What the NPPF does is allow developers


to make an easy run of things. What we are concerned about is that we


want to see the right development in the right place. Nobody yet has


really screwed down the definition of sustainable development. We have


had a couple of goes at it. We are wanting the Government to clarify


what they mean. Let us look at a real example. We are seeing our


town centres in depopulated of shops. It is not sustainable to


have lots of empty shopfronts in sound senses. That creates


vandalism. Local authorities can now give protection to green spaces


within urban centres, which they could not do the 4th. Last word to


the National Trust. Targets for brownfield sites are being


withdrawn from the NPPF. We have to draw that to a close. Thank you.


One bit of planning which has had a high profile this week is the


provision of travellers' sites. The eviction at Dale Farm brought it


into our living rooms. As our correspondent reports, it is not


just a problem for Essex. You cheated as! Dale Farm in Essex


this week. Riot police and bailiffs evicted protesters and residents


from the largest illegal travellers' site in the country.


Nobody will want is on their doorstep again. Gypsies will have


better rides from now on because no authority wants to see this.


Authorities are taking action out to avoid similar confrontations in


the South. Under the Housing Act 2004, all councils have an


obligation to identify sites suitable for use by gypsies and


travellers. In Dorset, all councils have chipped in one quarter live a


million pounds to draw up a shortlist of sight. Neither local


residents or borough councils are thrilled at the prospect. Across


Dorset, they need to provide 600 extra pitches. In Poole, the


borough council rejected all suggested size. Two of the sides


are right next to schools. We have got ain't long way to go with his


consultation. I am keen to explore the possibility of working more


closely with our neighbours, with Bournemouth and perhaps the


neighbouring Dorset authorities, to see if it is possible to come up


with a common approach. That might sound like passing the buck,


getting a neighbouring council to take more than its fair share of


new sites. That does not sit well with the strategy for the county of


Dorset as a whole. It is all done on the basis of how many pitches


are needed in each of the districts and boroughs. They each have to


deal with very own particular needs. It cannot be passed on from one


district to another. I did not in that is right. At a neighbouring


resort, three sides have been suggested by consultants, but none


have been universally welcomed. This these are scrubbed at


Lansdowne in Bournemouth is proposed as a transit site, but one


MP is quoted as saying that Bournemouth is full and that there


are no suitable sites. Local residents have formed a campaign


group, and in just one week, they have gathered 100 signatures on a


petition against the plan. Laings and carries a huge burden already


with homeless shelters, drug and alcohol centres and we have a huge


population of students and elderly residents. I'm trying not to be


prejudiced, but we have had a lot of trouble from medieval


travellers' sites, and they leave everything in a terrible mess. They


came here one Christmas and trashed it. With travellers' sites comes


trouble. I'm not saying they all did, but the majority do. We have a


small community here and you know everyone. You need to be


comfortable. As soon as you come across a lot of strangers you do


not know, it can be scary, intimidating and problems can come


from that. Travellers at the sides in pulled were reluctant to be


interviewed, but those who represent their interests say many


more pitches are required. travel and Romany community have


told us that the number of proposed sites and pitches will not be


enough to meet the needs -- needs of the community. Issues should be


able to be addressed better, because the welfare of the


community needs to be taking into account. How frustrating is it that


residence abject and councils reject schemes? It is frustrating


for all communities, because unless the issue is dealt with, it is not


going to go away. The major change perception is for people to talk


together, and that is not happening. If local residents and councils are


reluctant to engage in the consultation, where does that leave


Dorset's gypsy and travellers strategy? Is it merely


aspirational? I would like to think it is more than that. There is


always a degree of aspiration in everything you try to do in this


world, but I think there is a practical need to look at the


provision of sides. We could end up with those eyes at all, but we do


have to have a policy and we have to make sure that we can provide.


The consultations will run and sell early next year. Meanwhile, Dorset


police say they welcome any new pitches which make it easier to


evict groups from that lit -- illegal sides. They want to avoid


confrontations such as those seen at Dale Farm.


What you've been Dale Farm will do for the attitude of local councils


to travellers' sites? I think it shows the system does not work. The


issue of Dale Farm has set back a sensible debate about this policy


area by some distance, because people have moved into entrenched


positions. We should never have had to see those appalling scenes.


the moment, it is pass the parcel. Not always. I have got a site on


the board of Southampton which causes no difficulties at will.


Most people probably do not know it is there. But, and it is an


enormous but, the problems we have with illegal encampments cause


immense distress. We have got to find a solution. It means it


councils working collaboratively to find solutions and engaging with


the Gypsy Traveller community. is it not clear that councils can


or cannot work together to sort this out? It is clear at the moment


that they cannot. I have been to talk to the Secretary of State at


on this. Both members of the Coalition government agreed before


the election that we do as Kee suggests. Councils should get


together and remove the inquire much on individual authorities and


identify corporate sides which work better. We have not yet what --


done that and I want to know why. What is the answer? We are still


consulting. White residents do not understand why Bournemouth council


is going into consultation on this. The reason is that it is a


requirement laid down by the last government whose policy is still in


place. The Department for Communities and Local Government


are finding that across Dorset to the tune of �150,000. The other


thing they do not understand is why they councillors cannot speak out


against the sides. The reason is that it is speak out against


individual sides, they lose the right to participate in the


decision-making process. I am not so constrained. Eyes can say I am


absolutely opposed to any site, because it is wrong to Bournemouths


for Bournemouth. With inflation hitting a new high, many families


are struggling to make ends meet. According to a new report, the most


expensive way of getting alone our doorstep lenders, but they are


roughen the only people that the less well-off can go to for a loan.


There is a growing campaign to boost the profile and funding of


credit unions as a fairer and cheaper alternative. Earlier this


week, I met up with the chair are all highly -- All Party


Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, N P Damian Hinds.


Credit unions are a way of keeping people's' local savings within it


area. It is a good way of helping the local community whilst still


getting a return on your savings. Is it not about doorstep lending as


well? Some of the huge amounts of interests -- interest that people


are paying... It can be a real problem for people. People can get


into a seemingly unending cycle of debt. We want to provide credit


unions, an alternative. There is a much lower cost alternative


available to people to borrow from a socially responsible source. They


have an interest in helping those people manage their finances and


helping them to get out of financial difficulty. In a sense,


is this not the wrong time to do this kind of socially aware


lending? People will be much more likely to default. Credit unions


are not just about lending, they are about saving. They are about a


good, local safe place to keep your savings. It is absolutely right


that we encourage a savings habit as well as a credit habit. This is


why the Government is being supported to the sector. They are


driving through what is called a legislative reform to help credit


unions expand. Does this apply in East Hampshire or is it Ervin G it


applies all over the place. model works in lots of places. If


you look at the United States, credit unions cover all areas. It


is important for credit unions to have a good mix of customers, so


you want people he was saving as well as people who are borrowing.


You want people at higher income levels as well as those that lowers


-- at lower income levels. You are doing something useful with in your


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