Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)
Representation ID: 22582
Respondent: Mr Sasha Millwood
Legally compliant? No
Duty to co-operate? Yes
Insufficient weight accorded to paramount importance of Green Belt, despite a strong mandate from local residents for the Green Belt to be preserved absolutely and entirely. Under the NPPF, the Green Belt is a perfectly acceptable reason to NOT meet Objectively Assessed Housing need, irrespective of neighbouring authorities.
Return to the 2013 version, in which the Green Belt was deemed paramount above ALL other considerations. This would be in line with the NPPF, even if it resulted in not meeting the Objectively Assessed Housing need. Given the strong housing market in Brentwood (contrary to the views expressed in Supporting Documents dating from early 2010 & 2011, during a national recession) and the excellent public transport connections, the density of developments could be radically increased (i.e.: blocks of flats, not houses).
The Sustainability Appraisal gives insufficient consideration to making the Green Belt an absolute restriction, on the grounds that most neighbouring boroughs are similarly constrained. Moreover, it the Appraisal has not even sought to use the minimum possible Objectively Assessed Housing need. The NPPF allows an authority to use the Green Belt as a reason for reducing housing targets BELOW the Objectively Assessed Housing need, and there is a strong mandate from local residents for the Green Belt to preserves in its entirety. There are plenty of derelict and unoccupied properties, as well as sites with development potential, in the UK as a whole, and if a housing shortage in Brentwood encourages a more even distribution of the population around the UK, that is a good thing. The whole point of the green belt, as reaffirmed in the NPPF, is for it to be "permanent", and to prevent urban sprawl.