Planning Reform Proposals

The Government has presented us with a raft of complex changes to the planning system, many of which we feel are unhelpful. Just keeping pace with the “Localism Act”, the “National Planning Policy Framework” and now the “Growth & Infrastructure Bill” have threatened to overwhelm those of us trying to look after all that is best for the Devon countryside and those who live and work there.

This “Dash for Growth” is manifesting itself in many ways and we are now seeing planning applications for dozens of wind turbines, huge solar farms, large housing estates on Greenfield sites and much else besides. We see local District and Unitary Councils without a Local Plan in place by Easter being “open for sustainable development”. We see a future of the planning system being decided by the Planning Inspectorate, either on strategic grounds or at appeal, if local authorities are incompetent or perform badly. Real “Localism” seems to be increasingly meaningless. If you wish to get a feel for the arguments see the BBC Sunday Politics Show here.

If you are interested in the change of use for buildings, extensions to homes or business premises, the ‘right to light’ and many other issues, this a document that you should read. It provides hyper links to all the main Government documents should you wish to read them. Our grandchildren will not thank us if our legacy to them is a landscape despoiled and battered by random industrial structures and ugly housing. It is up to all of us to do something about it. Read this document here.