Communities secretary Eric Pickles has written to local authorities to tell them that they should decide on housing numbers, rather than having the numbers dictated via regional targets - as trailed in the Tories' statements before the election. He states that 'it will no longer be possible to concrete over large swathes of the country without any regard to what local people want'.
I wonder what 'local people' those are, then - presumably not the ones looking for somewhere to live.
Tory planning policies (and presumably now the coalition's) have been widely criticised as a nimby's charter. The problem is that most new housing, particularly greenfield housing, is pretty terrible, so the problem is probably not an irrational dislike of new development, but an evidence-based dislike, based on a reasonable guess as to what one is likely to get in one's back yard.
Improving the quality of what gets built is therefore more important than ever, if 'local people' (I'm never quite sure how they differ from 'people') are to be provided with new homes.