Laura Sharman 10 December 2020

Thousands of councillors call for rethink on planning reforms

Thousands of councillors call for rethink on planning reforms image

Over 2,000 councillors have called on the Government to rethink its planning proposals, warning the changes will lead to an ‘unacceptable loss’ of local democracy and scrutiny.

In an open letter to housing minister Robert Jenrick, the councillors warn the proposed changes will undermine the trust the public has in the planning system.

It states: ‘We believe that removing both the right of the public to be heard in person at local plan examinations, and many development control decisions from democratically elected planning committees, will lead to an unacceptable loss of local democracy, scrutiny and accountability and lead to worse outcomes for communities. This will inevitably reduce the trust that the public has in the planning system.

’The proposed zoning system could radically reduce protections for nature, local green spaces and fail to tackle climate change. This would place additional development pressure on greenfield sites and produce communities that are less sustainable and with a lower quality of life. The proposals would also weaken provisions for affordable, sustainable, good-quality homes.’

Crispin Truman, chief executive of countryside charity CPRE, said: ‘Planning done well can create the affordable and well-designed homes that communities are crying out for. We can create low carbon and nature friendly homes, with an abundance of green space on their doorsteps, all connected by low carbon public transport.

’Investing in a locally-led democratic planning system, that empowers local councils to create these places, should be the government’s top priority.’

One in six councillors who have signed the letter are Conservatives.

Sutton Councils IoT pilot project image

Sutton Council's IoT pilot project

David Grasty, head of digital strategy & portfolio for Kingston and Sutton Councils, outlines how in-home sensors have improved the safety of vulnerable residents living in social housing.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Director of Adult Social Care (DASS)

Hull City Council
£98,166 - £98,166
We are now seeking to recruit an exceptional transformational leader to build on our existing success. Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: Hull City Council

Senior Building Surveyor

Bedford Borough Council
£34,728 - £36,880 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen following a comprehensive restructure of Economic Growth and Property. Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Planning Officer

Three Rivers District Council
£30,451 to £33,782 (exc. LW)
We are looking to appoint a Senior Planning Officer. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Three Rivers District Council

Insurance Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 to £53,115 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for a skilled and experienced insurance professional to lead a busy and friendly Insurance Team providing a... Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue