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.


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    List of organisations that have signed up (38)


    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.

    Eastbourne & District Friends of the Earth
    November 13, 2020, 11:07 am

    Bradford on Avon Town Council
    November 12, 2020, 4:45 pm
    We voted unanimously to support this charter at our Environment & Planning Meeting 11th November 2020. We agree with the articles as stated: our democaratic rights to influence planning and developmen, twhich should be sustainable and appropriate, protect our green-spaces for the well-being of people and to enhance biodiversity, and to tackle climate change. https://bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk/ Submitted on behalf of the Council: Chair of Environment & Planning, Deputy Mayor

    Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG)
    November 12, 2020, 8:47 am

    Shipley & Saltaire Living Streets
    November 5, 2020, 7:52 pm
    We represent diverse community of local supporters. Such local residents have a stake in the way their neighbourhoods look and function, and a right to to respond to concerns, not to mention substantial expertise in the local geography. Planning for future developments and transport infrastructure must continue to be scrutinised democratically through local councils and public consultation.

    Aylestone Meadows Appreciation Society (AMAS)
    October 30, 2020, 7:53 pm
    We believe it is important for planning decisions to be properly scrutinised in an open and transparent manner. If these decisions are left to the organisations which have a clear vested financial interest, they will be biased and will not take proper account of environmental, ecological and conservation factors.

    List of individuals that have signed up (251)


    Maggie Gorman
    March 31, 2021, 2:33 pm

    Lizzie Bannister
    March 31, 2021, 9:54 am
    This just makes sense!!

    Michael Pitt
    March 31, 2021, 9:52 am

    Julie Dixon
    February 19, 2021, 12:20 pm

    Judith Ryser
    February 11, 2021, 11:58 am

    Jo Ripley
    January 12, 2021, 10:05 am

    Francis Hedley
    January 12, 2021, 12:47 am

    Rebecca Reynolds
    January 11, 2021, 10:39 pm

    Neil brashaw
    January 11, 2021, 6:30 pm

    Sarah Warren
    January 11, 2021, 4:49 pm