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New Labour's fast track planning system

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  • info@urgent.org.uk by way of Ecovillage
    From the Campaign for Planning Sanity. Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2001 12:51 PM Subject: LABOUR - Speeding up the planning system Below is a media release sent
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2001
      From the Campaign for Planning Sanity.

      Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2001 12:51 PM
      Subject: LABOUR - Speeding up the planning system

      Below is a media release sent out today, please copy and distribute, and/or
      make representationlocally to Labour candidates not to support a policy of
      'speeding up' the planning system.
      TEL: 0161-959 0999 : FAX: 0161-959 1001
      EMAIL: planning@... : WEB:
      The Labour Parties manifesto promise to 'reform the planning system to speed
      up the decision making process' will reduce the ability of local communities
      concerned about the adverse effects of development proposals on their areas
      to have those real concerns considered.
      At present one of the most widely given complaint on development proposals
      that CfPS receives from local residents is that they were not aware of the
      proposals until it was too late. The statutory time for objections to be
      lodged at the moment is 21 days. Whilst this can be sufficient time for the
      uninformed to write heart felt letters of objection (which cannot form a
      material planning consideration) it does not allow any time for the
      submission of a reasoned argument against a proposal (or indeed support).
      Any reduction in this time limit would be devastating to those communities
      affected, who will have to live with the consequences for years to come.
      CfPS Chair Chris Maile commented: "An adverse development proposal can cause
      local residents undue stress not simply when the application is being
      proposed but for the lifetime of the development. Yet they have few rights
      in the decision making process, they do not have a right of appeal, even
      when the development may affect their health, such as in the case of
      incinerators or phone masts. Labours proposals will make matters worse, by
      speeding up the system many more developments will be approved without
      sufficient local debate, or representation being taken into account. That
      has to be wrong, and must be resisted".
      There is great need for the overhauling of the planning system, not simply
      to speed the process up, but to ensure that proposals are given the debate
      they deserve before the decision to grant permission is made. CfPS therefore
      urges all political parties to adopt the following as their respective party
      policies, and if elected to office to work towards implementing the policy.
      Publicity for all planning applications to include notices in the local
      media on at least two occasions, sites notices posted in prominent
      positions, and letters outlining the proposals delivered to all homes and
      businesses within the locality of the proposed development;
      The public to have a right to access to ALL documents and reports that form
      part of a planning application, or have been considered as part of that
      application. Copies of all documents to be made available in principle and
      local council offices as well as local libraries throughout the period of
      At present there is no standard approach to the payment for copies of
      documents with local authorities charging fees ranging from 20p to £30 for
      one A4 copy, therefore in extreme cases making it unaffordable for local
      residents to obtain copies. The cost of copies of standard A4 pages should
      be no greater than 10p per printed page. Similar appropriate fees to be set
      as standard for large scale copies of plans, and for colour copies.
      A 42 day period of consultation for all proposals, such period to be
      extended to 56 days for all proposals that are on sites greater than 1
      hectare. With a further period of consultation, where alterations are
      submitted, environmental and other investigative reports published;
      The public to have a statutory right to address planning meetings on any
      proposal on the agenda;
      A introduction of a statutory right of third parties to lodge appeals to
      both the Courts and Planning Inspectorate. Local community groups to be
      given the same rights of hearing at public inquiries, to cross examine, call
      evidence and make representations as other statutory parties.
      A new environmental division of the High Court should be established to hear
      all planning and other environmental cases, the judges in this new division
      to be specialist in environmental and planning law. The Planning
      Inspectorate to become part of this new division, with inspectors having
      similar powers to district judges, and to be independent of the Secretary of
      State, or any other branch of Government involved in the decision making, or
      policy making process.
      The overall aim of the above policy outline is to give greater rights, than
      at present, to those that have to live with the consequences of development
      Editors Note: For more information telephone 0161 959 0999.
      The following is the relevant extract from the Labour Party Manifesto.
      'Labour will reform the planning system to speed up the decision making
      process. Promote the most efficient use of land, and strike the right
      balance of environmental protection, safer communities and economic growth'.
      Campaign for Planning Sanity - http://www.onlincam.freeserve.co.uk
      Local community support for adverse planning & development applications

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