To ensure that the planning process takes into account the views of local people who will be affected by a large planning application and not to give ministers the right to make the final decision. Where a planning application has the potential to impact a large percentage of the local population there should be a local referendum on the application and that vote should have appropriate weight when making final decisions. If a large percentage of LOCAL people object or support an application then that should influence and ultimately make the final decision and it should not be passed to ministers.

Why is this idea important?

Because people affected by large scale applications and developments feel as if ministers and planners have the final say on how their local area is developed when it should be local people themselves who have the final say. This should apply to any large scale planning application and it should be up to the applicant to arrange and pay for the local referendum with the wording of the referendum approved by the local council to ensure fairness and impartiality. This would mean that no additional costs would fall on councils, local people would feel as if they had a direct say in local planning issues and the local vote would be taken into account and not ignored or passed onto others. If this means that large scale applications cannot progress, that is appropriate. It would then be for those proposing the application (and who ultimately will benefit from the application) to consider how local people should be compensated before making a further application.

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