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Government criticised for 'short-sighted' logistics approach

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UK landlords have called for government intervention to protect and increase the amount of land available for warehousing. David Thame reports.

The British Property Federation has criticised the government’s White Paper, Planning for the Future, for a potentially “short-sighted” approach which focuses on housing, but makes no serious proposals for employment land.

The 400-strong group of top developers has now published an Employment Land Manifesto in an effort to put this right.

The documents say the Government must ensure enough warehouse space is built to sufficiently service new and growing communities. 

The BPF argues that planning law should introduce a presumption in favour of logistics development, and insist that local councils make separate allocations for warehousing, independent of other employment land needs.

If the BPF gets its way, local plans would only be approved if they could demonstrate a sufficient supply of employment land to meet several years’ demand.

“Demand for modern logistics property is outstripping supply, yet the Local Plan process is too slow to respond, needlessly slowing down high-growth sectors when their contribution to the economy and opportunities for new employment are vital to UK recovery,” it said in a statement.

“Planning reforms with a linear focus on housing will not be enough to create new, thriving and sustainable communities – the role of employment land in supporting new housing delivery must be better understood,” BPF Chief Executive Melanie Leech said.

“The Government must not waste untapped potential for our planning system to unlock considerable economic and social value, supporting its own agenda to level up the UK’s regions and build back better.”

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