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New formula could lead to developers 'cherry picking' sites

Date: 17/11/2017

Planning magazine reports that responses to the government's proposed standard approach to assessing local housing need have welcomed the proposal as enabling a speedier process of plan preparation, but there are concerns that it fails to take account of aspirations for economic growth in parts of the country.

The magazine reports that the Planning Officers Society said that, in much of the Midlands and most of northern England, the method results in reduced housing needs.

Furthermore, the magazine highlights that in its response, POS said that, where local planning authorities prepare plans geared to the new need calculation, "it will lead in some areas to very large differences between the amount of land allocated and the actual take-up". The response continued: "The consequence of this is that builders will cherry pick sites. This will happen not just within local planning authority areas, but between one area and another. Authorities in areas which are considered less attractive by housebuilders could find they have ample land allocations but little actual housebuilding."

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