Although section 3.7 mentions the crucial delivery of "the 10-minute settlement concept (‘Guiding Principle’ of the RSES)", it is not mentioned as a specific policy or objective in Housing. This should be corrected. This would help ensure that even with developer-led delivery of housing, facilities and services will be created alongside homes.
There is no mention of permeability for active travel modes throughout new and existing estates in any policy or object in housing. This should be corrected.
I strongly welcome HO O49.
Within new developments, guidelines should be set for native pollinator-friendly species to be used in landscaping. As well as a public open space, there should be dedicated biodiversity areas within developments for wildlife and pocket forests as amenities. For every tree felled as part of construction, at least one more should be replaced on the finished site, but as much of our existing natural heritage should be retained and protected.
While I believe it is a requirement to carry out a biodiversity study as part of a planning application for a new development, there is nothing to stop a developer removing hedgerows and trees in advance of a planning application. This loophole must be closed - destruction of any hedgerow or tree must be subject to licence, even in urban areas.
Incentivise homeowners to have more greenery - even if it's just grass. Widened driveways and astroturf are eliminating pockets of natural refuges across the county and beyond, and this needs to be reversed.
New developments should be a mix of housing types - low- to mid-rise apartment blocks with ground floor for elderly or people with disabilities and upper floors for singles and couples, duplexes for smaller families and houses for larger families.
Derelict and vacant buildings should be taxed. Only rich people can afford to leave a building lying derelict, tax it to make this uneconomical and force either development or a sale to someone who will develop it. Alternatively, the council should CPO derelict or vacant units, and lease them itself. The council should retain the freehold, and give long term leases to buyers. This allows the community to gain from future increases in land value and to reduce speculation. There are benefits for the leasee as well. Those leasing land do not have to pay the upfront cost of land, which reduces the entry barrier for developers.