Hunter Blasts New Planning White Paper

May 31, 2007 6:49 PM
Planning Application

Planning application process unfair to residents

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter is leading local opposition to the Government's announcement of a new White Paper on Planning Policy.

The news that the Government is keen to see decisions on major infrastructure projects such as motorways and power stations taken by an independent commission and not by local government has been met with dismay by Environmental Groups who accuse the Government of trying to push through controversial reforms in the face of community opposition.

Speaking after the proposals were announced by Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mark Hunter said: "The Government would like us to think they're concerned about consultation, but these proposals are all about streamlining the planning process. They will make it easier to push through decisions they know people will object to. The planning system is already stacked in favour of applicants, only applicants have the automatic right of appeal if a decision goes against them, unlike objectors. This white paper does nothing to address this concern."

"The Liberal Democrats believe that objectors, including local residents and their elected representatives should have the same rights to appeal as applicants. The Government should tackle this unfairness rather than leaning over backwards to accommodate their developer friends."

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