New planning minister says 'Nimbyism' has ended
Brandon Lewis, the new housing and planning minister, has claimed the government's reforms have helped put an end to 'Nimbyism'.Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Lewis cited evidence from the British Social Attitudes survey on housebuilding, which reveals that support for new homes among members of the public has risen dramatically since the reforms were implemented.According to the data, support for new residential properties increased from 28 per cent in 2010 to 47 per cent in 2013, while opposition to new developments has fallen from 46 per cent in 2010 to 31 per cent in 2013."This changing mindset can now be seen in the pipeline of projects coming through the reformed planning system," Mr Lewis wrote."Last year, successful applications for major housing schemes were up 23 per cent and planning permissions were granted for 216,000 new homes."The planning minister heralded the end of the "Punch and Judy politics of housebuilding", which he claimed was the legacy of the last government.Instead of Whitehall exerting an unjustified amount of power over the system, local people now have control over planning applications, meaning they are able to build more homes if they wish to do so.Mr Lewis claimed the coalition government inherited a planning system "in disarray" and praised the reforms implemented by his predecessors Greg Clark and Nick Boles to streamline the process and cut bureaucracy.He pointed out that 445,000 homes have been built since July 2010, housebuilding has reached its highest level since 2007 and mortgage approvals are increasing.Now that the reforms have taken place, the government has reunited the ministerial portfolios on housing and planning, and Mr Lewis said he was "delighted" to assume responsibility for both of them.However, others have criticised the survey's findings. Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, dismissed it as a "propaganda bulletin" by the government.He said his organisation is aware of many communities that are concerned about poorly-sited housing in their local areas.
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