Letter & Reply re Fiona Bruce and Planning Reform
From: Protect Congleton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 17 January 2014 18:21
Subject: Amendments to Planning Act
We notice from articles in the national press on Tuesday, 14th January 2014 that the government is proposing to amend the planning laws to relax current restrictions in order to “open the way for more developments”. These proposals include raising the threshold at which environmental assessments must be made and allowing automatic permission if councils fail to “sign-off conditions in a given time”. Effectively, such a change to the legislation will further enhance the power of the construction industry to decide planning matters for themselves without more than cursory reference to locally elected members.
Those of us who are already appalled by the way in which the NPPF is causing unwelcome destruction to our countryside, and the way in which local opinion is being ignored, are not happy about this proposal. We understand that MPs may have supported the NPPF in good faith and the belief that it is a good thing for the country as a whole, but we know that it is flawed legislation and all MPs that supported the NPPF must accept their culpability in its introduction and subsequent damage it is causing on their communities. All attempts to persuade the government to see reason on this matter and to allow local communities self-determination in planning matters have failed. It is clear that the government is determined to push forward development at any price and that it is the vested interests of developers rather than the well-being of communities that is given precedence by the government. This new proposal means that whole communities will have to help fund the public costs of developments even though it is the shareholders who will make commercial gain from them. It is a disgraceful stance for any government of any persuasion to take.
We would like to inform our members of your intentions on this matter and are, therefore, seeking an assurance from you that you will oppose any such changes to the legislation and will signal your intention to do so to the government.
Nicholas Light (Chairman), Jenny Unsworth (Vice-Chair) and Steve Jackson (Secretary)
Protect Congleton – Civic Society