Historically our planning system has given us the right to be heard in the decisions that affect us. It is also a cornerstone of our democracy. We can’t tackle poverty, inequality or climate change without it.

Yet the new White Paper takes that right away from us. The people who will benefit from the changes are the developers and their profits – at the expense of our local services, our green spaces, the quality of our homes.

People have a right to have a say over their future. People have a right to local democracy. Together we all need to make our voices heard. 

We want to stand up for communities across England. Join us.

Planning is vital to our lives now and in the future. Please sign up to show your support.

The decisions we make now on how we build will define the fate of future generations.

We the undersigned recognise​:

That planning shapes the homes and neighbourhoods we live in and that these decisions directly impact on people’s mental and physical health.

That many people feel angry and frustrated that they have no control over the future of their communities.

That planning is vital to tackling the future challenges of health, environment and climate change.

That the Government’s Planning White Paper strips away what little control communities have by:

  • removing a whole stage of the planning process so that permission will be given automatically, meaning local communities won’t have a voice regarding planning applications in growth areas.
  • removing the only legal right for people to be heard in person when plans are made. This will now be at the discretion of the planning inspectorate.
  • centralising power in Whitehall by the increased use of permitted development to convert commercial and industrial buildings to residential units, which means that local residents have no say over what happens in their own communities.

We are therefore determined to:

Ensure we have a planning system that puts the health and wellbeing of everyone at the heart of decision making and recognises that everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment that enhances their life chances and the well-being of future generations.

Ensure that everyone, without exception of age, gender or race, are able to share in the wealth of their communities and have a meaningful say over the decisions that affect their lives.

Articles: for rights, democracy, and the power to tackle climate change

  1. The right to participate. ​Everyone has the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives which means a right to be informed, a right to participate and a civil right to challenge. The absolute right to be heard when plans are made must be preserved and extended to any design code which is being applied to planning decisions. Communities should have the same appeal rights as developers to challenge decisions which are not in public interest.
  2. Local decisions should be made locally by democratically accountable bodies. ​Government must give back the powers removed from local authorities so they can control development in their areas. All parts of the planning decision from plan making to the final approval of development must be democratically accountable.
  3. A meaningful legal duty to secure sustainable development, tackling climate change, and the health and well-being of all citizens. ​We need to tackle climate change in every planning decision. We must all be confident that the system is there for everyone, and not just private interests.

    As an individual?On behalf of an organisation?



    List of organisations that have signed up (43)

    Save Dartingyon
    June 23, 2021, 9:15 am

    The Peoples Hub
    June 19, 2021, 8:44 pm
    The Peoples Hub has been built to help people and to love the planet, and fully support this campaign. Greenwashing has become the new norm and it is unacceptable. More power needs to be given to / back to the people to improve communities, now and for generations to come. Ethics and transparency are key.

    National Pensioners Convention
    June 10, 2021, 8:21 am

    Fuel Poverty Action
    May 27, 2021, 2:12 pm
    Fuel Poverty Action is particularly concerned about regeneration plans busting up communities and taking away people's support networks, leading to more expensive housing and heating. Even building fabric is not necessarily more energy efficient as claimed, and there are huge carbon costs from reconstruction. Communities must have the right to make informed decision themselves.

    Chalgrove Airfield Action Group
    May 6, 2021, 12:04 pm
    Chalgrove Airfield Action Group has been representing the residents of Chalgrove and the surrounding villages and parishes to ensure that local planners understand and recognise the depth of opposition to placing a disproportionately large car-based settlement in an isolated rural setting. We need planners to understand that our objections may not be couched in idealised planning language, but are absolutely clear in the reasons why this is a terrible idea. We know our area better than you do - we know the chaos and environmental destruction this will cause. Listen to us.

    Health and Wellbeing in Planning Network
    December 7, 2020, 4:00 pm

    Frack Free Lancashire
    November 27, 2020, 2:23 pm

    Gardens and Open Spaces Hull
    November 20, 2020, 11:25 am
    GOSH is campaigning for sustainable open-space management, led by the community for the community in partnership with the council, to enable food growing and encourage biodiversity in the city of Hull. We firmly believe climate change and sustainability must be the foremost consideration in Planning decisions and we therefore support the Charter.

    Test Valley Friends of the Earth
    November 13, 2020, 5:51 pm

    RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)
    November 13, 2020, 2:18 pm
    Local communities are being denied their democratic right to partake in decisions that affect their immediate environment. RAFF (Residents Action On Fylde Fracking) has always encouraged its members to take action and get involved in local matters. The new planning laws do not make provision for this. There also seems to be no mention of the fact that an increase of effective integration of climate change and ecological matters into projects at the earliest appropriate stage enables better outcomes, reduced risk and cost.

    List of individuals that have signed up (358)

    Johnny Hayes
    May 30, 2022, 8:18 am
    We need to support this Charter and to do the same in our own local authority.

    Amy Varle
    March 28, 2022, 9:15 pm

    Louise Ennis
    February 16, 2022, 9:44 pm

    Helen Roberts
    February 15, 2022, 10:40 am

    Phil Green
    February 8, 2022, 6:00 pm

    Philip Beales
    August 14, 2021, 6:38 pm

    Graciela Schar
    August 14, 2021, 10:32 am
    We live in a democracy. Why try to change this? Your children won't thank you!

    sylvia woods
    August 14, 2021, 6:59 am

    D Sherman
    August 13, 2021, 5:16 pm
    It is amazing that those who don't live in an area and have no vested interest in ensuring the needs of the residents are met and that they have a say in what happens are are making decisions which are life-changing. How is this democratic?

    Stuart Dixon
    July 27, 2021, 11:08 am
    I firmly believe corporate greed will destroy the environment and suck all the money out of communities.