We strongly believe that communities should have a say in the housing being built on their doorstep. Here at Pocket Living, we aim to build more homes that are actually needed, helping middle earning Londoners get onto the property ladder and put down roots in their local areas. A lack of affordable homes shouldn’t be the reason that people leave their communities, so we campaign every day to get permission to build more discounted homes across London.
What you may not realise is that we rely on the support of local communities to put through successful planning applications. If you live in a borough where we’re trying to build more discounted Pocket homes, your voice could have a big influence on whether we get permission to build.
With that said, it’s important to demystify how the planning system works so that you can understand how to support planning applications should you decide to do so.
Read on to find out how to support homes being built in London in a few simple steps.
What is the planning system and how does it work?
- The planning system is a set of laws and guidelines around what developments can be built where.
- To create a new building, developers first speak to the council to see whether their building is suitable and consult with the local community to find out what their opinions are on the scheme.
- Once the consultation period is over, the planning application is submitted to the council and all documents are in the public realm on the council website.
- The planning committee then decides if the planning application is granted.
- Once the planning application has been granted, construction can begin!
How to support planning applications
1. Keep an eye out for new planning applications near you and mobilise local support
Make sure you scan social media and the local press for new planning applications for housing in your area.
Once you’ve identified a planning application in need of support, find it on the local planning authority’s website, noting down the number, and register your support, adding a positive comment if you can.
Speak to your neighbours who might feel the same about the application and encourage them to support it, too. Why not even set up a Facebook group to share and offer information?
Your local YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) group is a good source for new applications; if there isn’t already a YIMBY group where you live, perhaps consider starting one.
2. Write letters/emails of support
Letters of support can make a big difference.
Head to the council’s website to find contact details for the following:
- The Case Officer handling the application
- Your Ward Councillor expressing your support
- Your local MP
Remember to include the planning reference number when you email!
3. Ask to speak at the planning committee
When an application comes before planning committee, there are opportunities to speak in support.
There are always more voices speaking against housing developments, so if you support the development, this can be valuable and persuasive.
If you wish to do this, then we advise you to contact the developer directly.
We currently have live planning applications that you can support in Hackney, Lambeth and Southwark. If you live or work in any of those boroughs and want to see more affordable housing in your area, please give us your support!
You can see all of our upcoming developments here.