The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail both ran with stories that the government is plannning a new city in the Midlands, running alongside the “contraversial” HS2 line, and “concreting” over the British countryside (suggesting any such plans will run into serious opposition).
The plans, which appear to run contrary to the localism agenda, are supposed to be announced Tuesday and are being sold as an answer to the chronic housing shortage in the south-east.
But if the government is so pro planning-deregulation, why try to dictate where development should be? Why not enable development where people want it? Or within the framework of a spatial plan that uses an evidence-based approach to where development is needed (and resources can accomodate it)? The devil may be in the detail, but in the era of localism, the policy seems strangely top-down and I can’t help thinking it’s a poor substitute for a national spatial plan.