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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor John Booker

That this Council:-

 

(a)       regrets that housing services cannot cope with constantly rising numbers of people coming to live and work in the UK;

 

(b)       recognises that the infrastructure is being constantly stretched by the strain on sewers, drainage, road and rail links, local amenities, and power supplies;

 

(c)        is frustrated by constantly changing Planning announcements, and therefore requests that the Administration prepares, produces and funds a full and comprehensive report on all brownfield sites within the City Council boundary and that the results are made public for a conciliation period in line with local draft plans for development in the area;

 

(d)       (i) requests that the report includes the size of brownfield sites in hectares and the ratio of houses per hectare if applied for new development; in addition the associated cost for any reclamation to make these brownfield sites usable, versus the Capital Gains Tax (or equivalent) figures per acre compared to earmarked designated green belt sites per acre; noting that this comparison will provide prospective developers with an alternative development consideration and (ii) notes that this motion is in line with National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) guidelines of using first any previously used land and preserving "Localism" by not joining well established communities into one urban landscape by destroying greenbelt;

 

(e)       is concerned that the NPPF can be misused by councils, giving them a free hand to redefine green belt boundaries and shelve brownfield sites, and that this allows Capital Gains Tax to be made on greenbelt land sales to developers in comparison to brownfield sites that may require reclamation in some way;

 

(f)        also notes that each County has its own unique system of available sites for development, and that South Yorkshire has the South Yorkshire Coalfield and the almost extinct steel industry, with hundreds of hectares of available land for redevelopment, and that these should not be left in the local government recycle bin;

 

(g)       agrees with local MP Clive Betts’ recent statement that “The NPPF has brought welcome simplification to the planning system, but the Government must strengthen the planning framework to tackle emerging concerns about inappropriate and unsustainable development”; and

 

(h)       is concerned that the Government is now riding roughshod over local people’s wishes, with mass house building that has become a Developers Charter, without the new services to go with it.

Minutes:

 

Housing Development

 

 

 

It was moved by Councillor John Booker, seconded by Councillor Jack Clarkson, that this Council:-

 

 

 

 

(a)       regrets that housing services cannot cope with constantly rising numbers of people coming to live and work in the UK;

 

(b)       recognises that the infrastructure is being constantly stretched by the strain on sewers, drainage, road and rail links, local amenities, and power supplies;

 

(c)        is frustrated by constantly changing Planning announcements, and therefore requests that the Administration prepares, produces and funds a full and comprehensive report on all brownfield sites within the City Council boundary and that the results are made public for a conciliation period in line with local draft plans for development in the area;

 

(d)       (i) requests that the report includes the size of brownfield sites in hectares and the ratio of houses per hectare if applied for new development; in addition the associated cost for any reclamation to make these brownfield sites usable, versus the Capital Gains Tax (or equivalent) figures per acre compared to earmarked designated green belt sites per acre; noting that this comparison will provide prospective developers with an alternative development consideration and (ii) notes that this motion is in line with National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) guidelines of using first any previously used land and preserving "Localism" by not joining well established communities into one urban landscape by destroying greenbelt;

 

(e)       is concerned that the NPPF can be misused by councils, giving them a free hand to redefine green belt boundaries and shelve brownfield sites, and that this allows Capital Gains Tax to be made on greenbelt land sales to developers in comparison to brownfield sites that may require reclamation in some way;

 

(f)        also notes that each County has its own unique system of available sites for development, and that South Yorkshire has the South Yorkshire Coalfield and the almost extinct steel industry, with hundreds of hectares of available land for redevelopment, and that these should not be left in the local government recycle bin;

 

(g)       agrees with local MP Clive Betts’ recent statement that “The NPPF has brought welcome simplification to the planning system, but the Government must strengthen the planning framework to tackle emerging concerns about inappropriate and unsustainable development”; and

 

(h)       is concerned that the Government is now riding roughshod over local people’s wishes, with mass house building that has become a Developers Charter, without the new services to go with it.

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Leigh Bramall, seconded by Councillor Harry Harpham, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words:-

 

 

 

(a)      regrets the number of new homes being built across our country has steadily dwindled to the point where this Government is presiding over the lowest level of house building in peacetime since the 1920s;

 

(b)      further regrets that just 115,000 homes were completed over the past year, which isn’t even half the number of homes the country needs to keep up with demand, and by 2020 there will be a shortage of over 2 million homes across the country;

 

(c)       believes that this Motion claims that the sewerage system and power supply is under strain due to immigration, and that this is reminiscent of the Leader of the UKIP Party, Nigel Farage’s claim that increased traffic on the M4 is due to immigration, and believes that this completely fails to address the real causes of the housing crisis;

 

(d)      confirms that the Council already has a plan with all brownfield sites available for development as part of the Local Plan and notes that under the National Planning Policy Framework, if the Council did not put a Local Plan in place, permission could be given for developers to build on any land; and

 

(e)      welcomes the Lyons Housing Report and welcomes that the Labour Party is committed to getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020 and a long term goal that will see a doubling of the number of first-time buyers within a decade and meet housing need for the first time in fifty years.

 

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried.

 

 

 

(Note: Councillors Jillian Creasy, Robert Murphy, Sarah Jane Smalley and Brian Webster voted for paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) and abstained on paragraphs (c) and (e) of the above amendment and asked for this to be recorded.)

 

 

 

It was then moved by Councillor Andrew Sangar, seconded by Councillor Ian Auckland, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words:-

 

 

 

(a)      notes the rise in new house building across the country over the past three years, but accepts there is still more to be done to reach the 250,000 new homes per year which many housing policy groups have been calling for over the past decade;

 

(b)      welcomes the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme which is on track to deliver 170,000 new homes for rent and sale across the country by May 2015; and

 

(c)       supports Sheffield’s long standing commitment to build the vast majority of new homes on brownfield land and re-affirms its commitment to this in the new Sheffield Local Plan currently being consulted upon.

 

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was negatived.

 

 

 

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       regrets the number of new homes being built across our country has steadily dwindled to the point where this Government is presiding over the lowest level of house building in peacetime since the 1920s;

 

 

 

(b)       further regrets that just 115,000 homes were completed over the past year, which isn’t even half the number of homes the country needs to keep up with demand, and by 2020 there will be a shortage of over 2 million homes across the country;

 

 

 

(c)        believes that this Motion claims that the sewerage system and power supply is under strain due to immigration, and that this is reminiscent of the Leader of the UKIP Party, Nigel Farage’s claim that increased traffic on the M4 is due to immigration, and believes that this completely fails to address the real causes of the housing crisis;

 

 

 

(d)       confirms that the Council already has a plan with all brownfield sites available for development as part of the Local Plan and notes that under the National Planning Policy Framework, if the Council did not put a Local Plan in place, permission could be given for developers to build on any land; and

 

 

 

(e)       welcomes the Lyons Housing Report and welcomes that the Labour Party is committed to getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020 and a long term goal that will see a doubling of the number of first-time buyers within a decade and meet housing need for the first time in fifty years.

 

 

 

(Note: 1. Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Rob Frost, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Penny Baker, Roger Davison, Diana Stimely, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Denise Reaney, Katie Condliffe and Vickie Priestley voted for paragraphs (c) and (d) and against paragraphs (a), (b) and (e) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.

 

 

 

2. Councillors Jillian Creasy, Robert Murphy, Sarah Jane Smalley and Brian Webster voted for paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) and abstained on paragraphs (c) and (e) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.)