Councils powers to make tree preservation orders and to use planning powers to enforce taste or in other minor matters ought to be restricted.

Councils should have to give reasons for the imposition of TPOs and for planning decisions in general.  These reasons should be specific and there ought to be a national standard against which to measure them.  There should be truly independent appeals decided by people outside the planning system.

Possibly juries of ordinary people could be empanelled to hear planning appeals, rather than having the decided by "experts" from the same stable as the planning officers who made the original decision.

Why is this idea important?

Present planning law is vague and uncertain.  It leaves council officers free to act in an arbitrary way and even opens the door for petty corruption.  There is no proper control over planning officers and tree officers in minor matters.  Councillors do as they are told or they don't get to stay on planning committees.  The local government ombudsman's office is largely staffed by ex council officers, who will always support their former colleagues against the public.  Legal action is too costly in minor matters and the lack of definition of the limits of councils' powers makes it hard to succeed in any claim that a council's actions are unfair.

One Reply to “Freedom in Garden & Home”

  1. I think all employees of councils are power crazy and forget who they work for and who pays their wages. US

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.