The Conservative's long awaited Green Paper on the planning system was launched by David Cameron on Monday. As civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system, we are sure it contains much of interest to the civic movement and to Civic Voice. We will be meeting shadow Ministers soon, so tell us what you think so we can tell them. There is a discussion running on the website's discussion forum - why not post your views here and learn what other civic volunteers are saying.
The Green Paper is highly critical of the current top-down planning system and proposes a radical overhaul, including:
- Abolition of regional spatial strategies and housebuilding targets
- A stronger role for Local Plans with restriction on appeal rights and a commitment to "collaborative democracy" in drawing up plans from the "ground level"; everyone would be asked to participate and bodies like civic societies would be put centre stage
- Removing the final say over Local Plans from Planning Inspectors
- Restricting the grounds of appeal against planning refusals and introducing a new right of appeal for residents again the grant of planning permission which contravenes the Local Plan
- New incentives in which neighbourhoods receive a share of any local tariff raised from development
- Abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the final say on major new developments to be with the Secretary of State following public inquiries
- Introduction of a "presumption in favour of sustainable development"
- Strategic authorities to prepare "Infrastructure Plans" on issues like transport, minerals and waste and be under a "duty to co-operate" across boundaries
- Removing gardens from the definition of brownfield development
- Readopting the "needs test" so councils can require developers to make the case for out-of-town development
- Limiting retrospective planning consent to rectifying genuine mistakes
If you haven't used the discussion forum before then it simply takes a minute to get yourself registered and participating. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Click here
and click on "create new account" (top middle) and complete the simple registration process -
2. Click on Conservative's unveil radical overhaul of planning to see what other people are saying
4. Click reply to respond to what someone has posted or to raise an issue
It is important that we hear from civic and amenity societies so that we can be your voice when we meet shadow Ministers.