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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
List of organisations that have signed up (39)
Chalgrove Airfield Action Group
Health and Wellbeing in Planning Network
Frack Free Lancashire
Gardens and Open Spaces Hull
Test Valley Friends of the Earth
RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)
Eastbourne & District Friends of the Earth
Bradford on Avon Town Council
Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG)
Shipley & Saltaire Living Streets
List of individuals that have signed up (298)