The Ravenswood Council Housing Application

Here on the 6th of February, reported that the planning application for 94 council houses at Ravenswood has been ‘called in’ by the Government. reported that

The issue the Secretary of State has specifically identified as one he wishes to be considered at the inquiry is how the planning application relates to policies in the National Planning Policy Framework on delivering a wide choice of high quality homes, in particular those set out in paragraph 50 of the framework on delivering a wide choice of high quality homes, widen opportunities for home ownership and create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities.

Ben Gummer MP told local media that he was pleased that the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, had called in the application because Ipswich Borough Council was not following current planning guidance, which presumes that estates will be built with a mix of social and private housing; IBC’s application was entirely social housing.

So it appears that the Ipswich Borough Planning Department went along with the wishes of Ipswich Labour rather than the National Planning Policy Framework as they should have done.

Naturally Ipswich Labour are making nasty claims that Ipswich Tories want people to be homeless and saying how callous and cruel we all are. For instance, the author of the dRoss Blog says “Our Tory MP, Mr Gummer and the Tory leader – Nadia Cenci have badly let down the many young families in Ipswich who are in desperate need of new house in the town.” Utter squit! Ipswich Labour could have built more houses if they went for more housing association owned property but were intent on building an empire for themselves off the backs of their existing tenants and Ipswich council tax payers.

There is a very long winded rant on the dRoss Blog about this. He says that he is not sure he has ever been so angry by the behaviour of our Tory MP and Tory councillors. Why are Ipswich Labour so livid?

Ipswich Labour based their parliamentary election campaign on something that went against national planning guidelines and in their arrogance, they thought they could get away with it. you can read the guidelines here

Here is paragraph 50.

To deliver a wide choice of high quality homes, widen opportunities for home ownership and create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities, local planning authorities should:

plan for a mix of housing based on current and future demographic trends, market trends and the needs of different groups in the community (such as, but not limited to, families with children, older people, people with disabilities, service families and people wishing to build their own homes);
identify the size, type, tenure and range of housing that is required in particular locations, reflecting local demand; and
where they have identified that affordable housing is needed, set policies for meeting this need on site, unless off-site provision or a financial contribution of broadly equivalent value can be robustly justified (for example to improve or make more effective use of the existing housing stock) and the agreed approach contributes to the objective of creating mixed and balanced communities. Such policies should be sufficiently flexible to take account of changing market conditions over time.

The Ipswich Borough Planning Department should have been aware of this and if they weren’t, then they are clearly incompetent and were not doing their job properly.

As the application is now going to be looked at by an independent body, Ipswich Labour should not be making a political issue out of it as Ipswich Conservatives are not.

I have nothing else to say on this matter.

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