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Make “I don’t want it!” legally valid for planning objections

Comment 9th July 2010

NIMBYism has been ridden roughshod over. Yes, prisons must go somewhere, wind farms and nuclear power stations benefit us in energy security (though wind farms I'd disagree with, but that's only my view). The common factor is they're rarely welcome and planning permission has to be bulldozed through.

Supermarkets, though? Little town killers springing up everywhere, destroying towns for the greater glory of the likes of Tesco (with whom £1 in £7 is spent in the UK already).

The problem is developers get two or three years to form their plans and consult with planning departments while the victims – the residents – get siz weeks to provide detailed objections citing planning regulations that would baffle a boffin. It's hopelessly one-sided, in favour of the developers.

Saying "I don't want it" carries no weight. Saying "It'll destroy the character of the town" is no good. Getting hundreds and even  thousands of signatures on a petition is no good – no matter how large it is, a whole petition counts as one objection!

In plain, simple terms, weight of opinion is completely ignored in planning matters. This Coalition has promised to devolve more say to local communities, and I would wish them to stick by their word.

It is not for us, the electorate, to provide solutions to difficult problems – that's what MPs are given their seats to do. We can help, as we're doing on this site, but give us the tools to give that help!

Why does this matter?

We need to empower local communities to control their environments, not emasculate them.

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