‘Preposterous’ may have been a bit harsh as my first thought on the Community Right to Build, but I’m certainly not alone in feeling skeptical. The professional press certainly sees more obstacles than opportunities.
The Royal Town Planning Institute and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England both came out in rather negative mood:
“We believe that local plans, developed by elected members in partnership with local people and businesses are the most democratic way to deliver the aspirations of local communities for housing provision.”
“We are pleased that the Government is considering how to protect and enhance rural village life …However, bypassing the planning process is not the way to deliver it and any proposals should include proper planning scrutiny.”
In a more positive frame of mind, not surprisingly, the Country Land Owners Association and the Home-Builders Federation:
“The Community Right to Build policy is a huge step towards putting sustainability back into the hearts of many currently unsustainable villages. However, there are a lot of technical issues surrounding this policy which need to be carefully considered.”
“An interesting initiative to cut red tape in the planning system… However, is only likely to be a small part of overall response that is needed to meet the country’s major shortage of housing.”
There were interesting exchanges at Estates Gazette on Jackie Sadek’s Blog, seeing both sides of the argument: http://www.estatesgazette.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?blog_id=227&tag=Right%20to%20Build&limit=20
And unless I’ve missed something, it’s a deafening silence from the architectural press! I think the architectural profession is so locked into the sustainable/urban agenda that this hasn’t really registered. Ah well!