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Cllr Douglas raises concerns over planning reforms

October 26, 2020 10:49 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Cllr Tim DouglasCouncillor Tim Douglas (Paddox) has written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government following concerns from residents about proposed reforms to the planning system.

Residents have expressed concerns that the Conservative Government's proposals as set out in the 'Planning for the Future' White Paper will not lead to a system fit for the years ahead.

They believe the reforms will have three negative impacts. Firstly, they will increase nature's decline. Secondly, the plans fail to integrate nature into people's lives. Thirdly, the measures would undermine the democratic process for local decision-making.

The National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Wildlife Trusts have warned that wide-scale deregulation in planning will lead to lower environmental standards.

The Planning for the Future consultation proposes reforms of the planning system to streamline and modernise the planning process.

Commenting, Councillor Tim Douglas (Paddox), said:

"People are concerned about how the reforms will actually balance the needs and interests of residents as well as allow local opinion in the future. Abolishing 'red tape' is one thing, but people want meaningful involvement of their local councils and residents in planning matters. Furthermore, we need a planning system that includes nature and accessible green spaces to add value to people's lives."

Planning for the Future - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future

Letter to the Secretary of State from Councillor Tim Douglas

Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

Dear Mr Jenrick,

Re: Planning Reforms

I have been contacted by residents in my local area who are very concerned about reforms to the planning system and believe the UK Government's proposals will have three negative impacts. Firstly, they will increase nature's decline. Secondly, the plans fail to integrate nature into people's lives. Thirdly, the measures would undermine the democratic process for local decision-making.

As I am sure you agree, a successful planning system makes a huge difference to people's quality of life. In their emails to me, residents are concerned about the decline in wildlife across the country and they believe we must do more to prepare for the challenges of the twenty first century and help tackle climate change as well as the ecological and health crisis.

Residents in my ward believe that the proposals set out in the 'Planning for the Future' White Paper will not lead to a system fit for the years ahead. Instead, they say the plans will increase nature's decline, fail to integrate nature into people's lives and undermine the democratic process for local decision-making. They are concerned that the White Paper does not include nature or accessible green spaces into the new Growth or Renewal areas. Furthermore, there would be no change for wildlife in the Protected areas, which will not help to improve the current situation.

The correspondence I have received also highlight concerns about how the reforms will actually balance the needs and interests of residents as well as allow local opinion in the future. Abolishing 'red tape' is one thing, but people want meaningful involvement of their local councils and residents in planning matters. Furthermore, the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Wildlife Trusts have warned that wide-scale deregulation in planning will lead to lower environmental standards.

I would be grateful if you would respond to the concerns that have been raised and provide a response which I can pass on to residents.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Cllr Tim Douglas