What the call-in of Birmingham’s local plan means for plan-makers
It is feared that the government’s decision to agree to a conservative MP’s request to halt the adoption of a local plan sets dangerous precedent and could disincentives innovative plan-making.
A letter from Brandon Lewis instructed Birmingham City Council not to take any steps in connection with the adoption and this direction will remain in force until it’s withdrawn.
The plan, which includes proposals for thousands of green belt homes, had been through a substantial review process and a satisfactory consultation had been carried out. Consideration has also been given to Birmingham City Council’s plans to release land from the green belt.
The scale of the city’s unmet housing need is exceptional. Without strategic green belt release these needs are unlikely to be met. This would mean the housing that would have been catered for on green belt land would have to be distributed throughout the city.
The concern is that this interference could make councils and inspectors less inclined to pursue innovative policies in local plans.
A department for communities and local government spokesperson, said: “The government supports councils to bring forward innovative local plans. This plan has simply been delayed to allow time for proper consideration of the issues. We are working to reach a decision as soon as possible.”