Planning and Land Use
By Joe Gertler
1.2 Settlement under
1.3 Housing Affordability
1.4 Planning Policies
1.5 Problems with the
Planning Policy and how it can be improved.
1.6 Development Management
1.7 Proposal Appendix
This report outlines a city I selected that
I perceived under pressure for growth and development. It conveys the way the National
Planning Policy Framework operates and the use of planning application approval
to build on land. In my report, I use an example in Manchester where pressure
for growth and development is critical. Furthermore, my report shows how the NPPF
and local plans collaborate to ensure sustainable development across the country.
Manchester is under pressure for growth and
development as it has the biggest population increase after London, by 2021;
the population is expected to be 532,000, which is a 5.8% increase from 2011.
The council reported 4,000 new homes are constructed each year, however 10,000
are required. This clearly shows the imbalance, which will inevitably lead to a
large proportion of the population homeless. It’s projected there could be
1,500 more families then homes in 2026; by 2037 it could rise to more than
9,400 families, clearly showing the huge pressure for housing. Several sites
around Manchester have been identified, capable of building 48,000 homes. This
would be enough for the coming 5 years, however it isn’t sustainable for the
A rise in rental houses has occurred due to unaffordable
housing prices. Yet even the rental price is ever increasing due to high demand
for housing. According to the Manchester evening news, Manchester has been
identified as the North West’s top ‘homelessness’ hotspot’ putting a massive
strain on the government and local councils to find solutions to prevent this
from getting worse. Maybe by, increasing the supply of housing or capping
rental prices in order to make it more affordable for people. However, the
government cannot just build houses, there is a protocol the local council must
The Governments planning policy is found in
the National Planning Policy Framework. Decisions and local planning policies
on planning applications must comply with what the NPPF expresses about different
types of land use. A local plan helps prepare for future development in a
sustainable approach. Weather planning applications can be approved is determined
though the local planning system. Using a plan-led system approach to development,
each local planning authority must assemble a local plan, consisting of every
local planning policy in that area. A new style of local plan was introduced in
2004, local plans by law had to contain proposal maps, site allocations and the
core strategy helping to implement the guidelines for determining planning
applications and forthcoming developments. The documents included in the local
plan contain policies and proposals about spatial planning and land use in the
area. Spatial planning is how the government determines the distribution of
activities in order to benefit everyone. It’s essential for promoting
sustainable development whilst improving quality of life.
The benefits of having an up-to-date and
clear local plan provide certainty to potential investors as they gain
confidence to commit to Manchester. More investments likely results in
increased job opportunities. However, if people come to Manchester for work,
housing is demanded linking to the housing crisis. In addition, it clarifies the councils approach to
development and creates a clear protocol for the council and prospective
High pressure for housing creates a problem
for the council and the planning policy. Houses cannot be built everywhere and
anywhere, planning permission is needed when developing any type of land according
to the Town and County Planning Act 1990. It ensures developments are in the public’s
best interests, taking into account the economic, environmental and social benefits
and drawbacks. Failing to obtain a planning permission prior to the
commencement of the building can result in the council enforcing an order to
undo the building work, costing time and money.
The government may be seen prioritising
economic growth whilst considering some development proposals, allowing
projects to happen despite being socially or environmentally unsound. Thus,
having hard to measure effects on things such as losing green space and
increasing global warming. This creates uncertainty for local councils, as they
have to decide between, in some cases, inappropriate economic growth or face costly
appeals process. Resulting to increasing controversial off plan developments
getting past the local guidelines. Potential projects such as open space or
affordable housing have been dropped entirely due to them not fulfilling
economic viability. The NPPF strongly supports sustainable development yet this
clearly does not justify this. Furthermore, the NPPF explains how social,
economic and environmental gains should not be carried out in isolation due to
them all being equally important, known as the ‘triple bottom line’ approach by John Elkington. The
government cannot prioritise one without impacting the other two, and its clear
that in some cases this has happened with the economic gain being priortised.
To improve the NPPF, the government needs
to change their approach to developments and finding projects that benefit everyone.
Maybe this can be done by settling out what they actually mean by ‘sustainable
development’ and stick to this guideline. Economic growth cannot be the main
priority as the government also has environmental and social targets to fulfill.
The government also needs to crack down on
off-plan developments, making it harder for developers to get out of reaching
the essential environmental and social requirements. Maybe by having targets in
all aspects of the triple bottom line will help the government create
sustainable developments in the best interests of everyone.
The serge in demand for housing is due to
80,000 people moving to the city between 2001 and 2011. The average price for a
house increased by 8.4% in comparison with the same month a year ago, faster
then any other city in England. The number of people waiting to get council
housing has doubled since 1997 due to unaffordable housing. Figures suggest the waiting list has
risen from 50,466 in 1997 to 102,025 last year. To support the continued growth, Manchester needs a variety of
affordable housing products across all housing types. Social housing is when a
property is let at low rents on a secure basis for those who are struggling
with housing costs. An application on the 16th of December 2014 proposed
recent plot of land at the junction of Bury Old Road & Middleton Road,
Crumpsall, Manchester, M8 4HE be turned in social housing. The application was
for the erection of 15 properties being 2-3 storey dwellinghouses with
associated car parking, landscaping and boundary treatment. The application was
determined in a positive and proactive manner. The application had no significant
problems associated with it. It was approved because it met the guidelines of
the planning policy on the basis with policies DM1, SP1, H3, T2 and EN1 of the
Manchester Core Strategy and the NPPF.
Appendix 1: This shows the proposed housing
from a bird’s eye view, making it easy to distinguish the layout and the scale
of this project.
Appendix 2: This outlines the floor plan
for three of the properties making it easy to visualize the project. It makes
it easier for developers to make any adjustments where necessary allowing the
project to have more chance of being a success.
Appendix 3: This outlines what the
properties will look like face on. It also helps to understand the shape and
height of each house.
This is a street view taken from the
internet making it easier to visualize the scale of the project. The project is
located on a main road, which leads directly into the city centre. A bus stop
located on the side where the project is; makes it easy for residents commute.
Furthermore a map of the area is shown, outlining neighboring building and
other road links.
This project clearly fits the guidelines of
the NPPF as it helps “building a strong, competitive economy”. It creates
affordable housing for people who may not previously been able to afford
housing close to town. This project encourages people to get jobs in town due
to the close commute therefore helping to boost the economy. This may act as a
multiplier effect leading to more projects being approved due to the positive
effects its likely to bring to the economy. Furthermore, it reduces the amount
of people without housing therefore improving the local community and society
as a whole. The NPPF also explains the need for ‘affordable housing in the
housing market’, another reason explaining why the planning application was a
success. This project shows the governments intentions to satisfy every aspect
of the triple bottom line and to create sustainable developments. The outcry
for affordable housing was clearly there and approval of this proposal clearly
shows the government can meet clear demands, which benefit the country
economically, socially and environmentally.
Beth Abbit. (01/12/2016). The true scale of Greater Manchester’s homelessness crisis revealed. Available:
Last accessed 20/01/2018.
Marc Da Silva. (February 2012 – April 2015). House prices in Manchester continue to rise faster than anywhere in the
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Last accessed 22/01/2018.
Sophie Wright. (Autumn 2014). Evaluating the National Planning Policy Framework. Available:
Last accessed 22/01/2018.
Department for Communities and Local Government.
(March 2012 ). National Planning Policy Framework . Available:
Last accessed 22/01/2018.
Nick Nicholaou. (July 2017). Instant Street View. Available:
CPRE. (N/A). History of
the planning system. Available:
Last accessed 21/01/2018.
Planning Application. (16 December 2014). Planning Permission Application – 107654/FO/2014/N1. Available:
Last accessed 19/01/2018.