Tell your MP if you want a say on development in your community
Letter to the Editor, Bexhill Observer
We wonder how many people are aware that the Government issued in early August, please note, proposals for the most radical reform of planning since formal planning was introduced in 1947.They are suggesting a change from the system we are used to where the local council, in our case Rother, decides democratically on the details of any planning application. Remember a recent planning application on the eastern side of Bexhill generated in excess of 400 comments from members of the public.
The Government are proposing that the whole of England be divided into three planning areas: Growth areas, deemed suitable for substantial development, Renewal areas suitable for development and areas that are Protected.This division will be formulated through a Local Plan where a planning inspector will determine which areas are which. Thereafter if anyone makes a planning application in a Growth area, it will be automatically adopted, without any scrutiny of the actual details of what is being proposed. In Renewal areas, it would be more or less the same, subject to the plans meeting certain design codes. Only in the Protected areas, would the system require a formal application.
This means that the public’s say in planning is being drastically reduced. The last time Rother created a Local Plan back in 2014, the only public participation at the Inquiry was by one plucky Parish Council and CPRE Sussex.
Do you want to continue to have a say on how your neighbourhood will look into the future? Or do you want the look of your community to be dictated by house builders and developers? If your answer is yes to the first and no to the second question, then let your local MPs, Huw Merriman and Sally Ann Hart know your views as soon as possible. Otherwise the development lobby will ensure you are shut out from taking part in the planning process. Do it now.
Trustee, CPRE Sussex