It looks like the city council’s planning officers are off doing whatever the hell they feel like again to help their private developer friends without going to the bother of consulting elected politicians.
It says here that the Royal Town Planning Institute’s networks, “provide a forum for linking planners in the public and private sectors with representatives of the wider property and development industry”, which is nice isn’t it?
But, we’re told, these poor multi-millionaire property developer types are apparently having a bit of a hard time, what with the state of the economy and everything else at present.
And would you believe that just last month the RTPI debated, here in Bristol with attendees from across the UK, the future of section 106 agreements – which dictate how much developers should give to us, the public, in terms of cash, benefits and services in exchange for building their profitable blocks of buy-to-let high-end flats?
And would you believe, “the opening proposition was put by Bristol City Council head of major projects Gary Collins”?
And would you believe he said, “his authority has devised a concordat with the local property sector that aims to reduce the burden of existing planning conditions and section 106 agreements in the hope of maintaining delivery on key schemes.”
Is, by any chance, a city council CONcordat similar to a city council CONsultation?
All nice and cosy isn’t it? Private property developers – who are supposed to bear risk – get hit by the recession so, we, the public, thanks to the city council, have to immediately pick up the tab and forego various public service and infrastructure necessities we might need as a direct result of these major development schemes.
So forget, for the foreseeable future – courtesy of our poor, downtrodden private developer friends at least – any new schools, public transport improvements or the affordable housing we still urgently need despite what must have been the boom time S.106 deals negotiated by the council until recently.
Oh, and did we miss it? Where was the announcement from the city’s political leadership of this new policy favouring private property development interests and profits over our collective needs?
Or are major policy announcements for the city now made by unelected town planners at obscure networking events?