Blind planning

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There seems an amazing disconnect and lack of understanding between central and local government over planning.

Cynics might believe this to be wilful. For whatever reason, policies and decisions deserve close scrutiny.

In this, city housing associations could receive planning approval for developments in tight sites as they were not required to provide the full complement of parking spaces; the rationale being that many housing association tenants did not own a car.

At a time of rising car ownership and rising car usage, this policy was always suspect.

People living nearby could often attest to an increase in 
on-street parking. Right-to-buy lessons from council house sales seem not to have been learned: there is no ring fencing of 
properties of those most suited to people with medical needs, and no funding in place for immediate replacement social housing for rent. Further, social mores have changed. Fewer people aspire to or can afford to buy houses. Why, oh why, is there no attention to council tax banding?

It may be a political hot potato, but surely valuable income for social housing could be raised by rebanding of properties owned by those able to contribute rather more to society.

Moyra Forrest

Starbank Road

Edinburgh

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