Restore people’s and council’s right to turn down phone masts on health grounds.

In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
 

Health Considerations

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report "mobile phones and health"1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.
 

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. "It was if they wanted to lose the case". The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.
 

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

Why is this idea important?

In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
 

Health Considerations

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report "mobile phones and health"1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.
 

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. "It was if they wanted to lose the case". The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.
 

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

more freedom for the public on where construction of council led initiatives take place

 My idea is to have a more open policy on placing of construction projects in my local area,this is to say at a local level councillors should have to meet and respect opinions of local resisidents about what if any type of building work they want done in their own local area.

 For an example I will look no further than my own experience of a proposed Academy that is being built on a local playing field(Queen Elizabeth Playing Field) near to where I live in Kingston Upon Hull.Despite widespread dissaproval of this local building scheme the school will be built on the only "green space" we have available to enjoy time away from city life.Despite partitions from local people at a local level to city councillors for stopping this,despite their being many local schools in the area already,that would be better served refurbished rather than knocked down,they are still going ahead with this idea that would disrupt the community,that has relied on those playing fields for an escape from city life.

  I feel this is an idea that would save the goverment money, money that we all know needs to be saved from the school budget as you'll find many people(certainly in my local area) are opposed to such hair-brained schemes that they neither want nor need.Their are other construction projects that I could write about,but It just feels that local councillors do not listen to the will of the local people.-this one in particular is part of the previous goverments future schools building program.

Why is this idea important?

 My idea is to have a more open policy on placing of construction projects in my local area,this is to say at a local level councillors should have to meet and respect opinions of local resisidents about what if any type of building work they want done in their own local area.

 For an example I will look no further than my own experience of a proposed Academy that is being built on a local playing field(Queen Elizabeth Playing Field) near to where I live in Kingston Upon Hull.Despite widespread dissaproval of this local building scheme the school will be built on the only "green space" we have available to enjoy time away from city life.Despite partitions from local people at a local level to city councillors for stopping this,despite their being many local schools in the area already,that would be better served refurbished rather than knocked down,they are still going ahead with this idea that would disrupt the community,that has relied on those playing fields for an escape from city life.

  I feel this is an idea that would save the goverment money, money that we all know needs to be saved from the school budget as you'll find many people(certainly in my local area) are opposed to such hair-brained schemes that they neither want nor need.Their are other construction projects that I could write about,but It just feels that local councillors do not listen to the will of the local people.-this one in particular is part of the previous goverments future schools building program.

Let Owners Build Big Houses On Own Land – With Garages

If you own a piece of land you are not allowed to build a comfortable house to your own design. Government rules effectively forbid you from making the rooms large enough to be comfortable. You probably cannot build just one house either because Minimum Density Regulations mean the land only gets planning consent if it is split into two or more. And no way will you be allowed as much parking as you want. Two adults and two teens who will soon be working 20 miles away – no the PolitiKal Kommisars in most areas order a maximum of 1 parking space per household (often less, 0.8 for flats) in order to force people onto public transport. Which is fine except late at night, early in the morning, on Bank Holidays, if providing any kind of emergency response, or simply if one has back pain and cannot use badly driven busses.

Do not impose maximum standards on property owners that they cannot exceed.

Why is this idea important?

If you own a piece of land you are not allowed to build a comfortable house to your own design. Government rules effectively forbid you from making the rooms large enough to be comfortable. You probably cannot build just one house either because Minimum Density Regulations mean the land only gets planning consent if it is split into two or more. And no way will you be allowed as much parking as you want. Two adults and two teens who will soon be working 20 miles away – no the PolitiKal Kommisars in most areas order a maximum of 1 parking space per household (often less, 0.8 for flats) in order to force people onto public transport. Which is fine except late at night, early in the morning, on Bank Holidays, if providing any kind of emergency response, or simply if one has back pain and cannot use badly driven busses.

Do not impose maximum standards on property owners that they cannot exceed.

Localism and Planning

There is much of interest in the coalition's statements on Localism and putting decision-making powers back in the hands of communities and local authorities. However, to facilitate the process, I would suggest repealing those parts of the current system of town and country planning that work against those fine principles, beginning with the following.

  • Remove the presumption in favour of development
  • Allow statutory development plans to include negatively as well as positively worded policies
  • Increase the weight attached to community opinion in the determination of planning applications and appeals
  • Overall, shift the balance of power from landowners and developers to communities and local planning authorities

This could begin to change the culture of planning in this country so that planning permission is not a right of the individual, but an endorsement by the people it will affect.

Why is this idea important?

There is much of interest in the coalition's statements on Localism and putting decision-making powers back in the hands of communities and local authorities. However, to facilitate the process, I would suggest repealing those parts of the current system of town and country planning that work against those fine principles, beginning with the following.

  • Remove the presumption in favour of development
  • Allow statutory development plans to include negatively as well as positively worded policies
  • Increase the weight attached to community opinion in the determination of planning applications and appeals
  • Overall, shift the balance of power from landowners and developers to communities and local planning authorities

This could begin to change the culture of planning in this country so that planning permission is not a right of the individual, but an endorsement by the people it will affect.

Repeal the “Exception Sites” rules in planning law

These rules in Planning law allow builders/developers to buy cheap land outside development boundaries and then gain consent for “affordable housing” for Housing Associations on green belt, ANOB, etc. land that otherwise wouldn’t get consent. It also allows them to ignore regulations about flood risk.

Why is this idea important?

These rules in Planning law allow builders/developers to buy cheap land outside development boundaries and then gain consent for “affordable housing” for Housing Associations on green belt, ANOB, etc. land that otherwise wouldn’t get consent. It also allows them to ignore regulations about flood risk.

Repeal of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960

To repeal this little known law which allows unelected bodies to make planning decisions  allowing campsites to be established in communities without any recourse to the inhabitants or to the Local Authority. This is one way to give local planning decisions back to local people.

Why is this idea important?

To repeal this little known law which allows unelected bodies to make planning decisions  allowing campsites to be established in communities without any recourse to the inhabitants or to the Local Authority. This is one way to give local planning decisions back to local people.

Stop spurious village green applications halting housing development

Repeal the Commons Act 2008 (and Commons Act 2006).

This law allows people to apply for village greens on the flimsiest of grounds.    A social housing development (aka affordable housing) with planning approval has been held up for 2.5 years because a spurious village green application has been made using the Commons Acts recently brought in.  The application is now being turned down but the applicatants have succeeded in delaying the project.

The village green registration authorities have no time limit in which they must reach a conclusion about an application.  Therefore everyone is using spurious village green applications to delay any development they disagree with, regardless of the planning laws.

The Commons Acts are not needed since the Planning Laws are sufficient in themselves. 

   

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the Commons Act 2008 (and Commons Act 2006).

This law allows people to apply for village greens on the flimsiest of grounds.    A social housing development (aka affordable housing) with planning approval has been held up for 2.5 years because a spurious village green application has been made using the Commons Acts recently brought in.  The application is now being turned down but the applicatants have succeeded in delaying the project.

The village green registration authorities have no time limit in which they must reach a conclusion about an application.  Therefore everyone is using spurious village green applications to delay any development they disagree with, regardless of the planning laws.

The Commons Acts are not needed since the Planning Laws are sufficient in themselves. 

   

Suggested change to the application and enforcement of planning conditions for commercial and large scale residential development

This suggestion is not to remove a regulation but to ask for Planning Authorities to be under a statutory obligation to monitor and enforce conditions they apply to planning consents.  The result may be that the number of conditions applied to developers may be reduced but they would be enforced.

National guidance on planning conditions sets out that conditions should only be used to make a development that would otherwise be unacceptable acceptable.  It follows then that any such conditions must be important, but they are rarely enforced.  In almost every town across the UK you can go to your local supermarket, housing development, industrial development or similar and see areas of tree or shrub planting with dead trees or knee height in weeds.  Many other aspects of development mitigation also go un checked or not implemented leaving local communities all the poorer and occasionally neighbouring individuals seriously disadvantaged. 

Many developers look on planning conditions as an optional extra and pay lip service to the requirements they have been set with a planning approval.

All authorities should be formally required to inspect commercial development sites annually for 5 years post completion (the inspections should be on a public register) and be under a statutory obligation to enforce conditions where a developer is found to be in breach.  This would add to the work load of planning departments but in time would lead to a much clearer understanding from developers they must implement schemes only as approved (which would then in turn lead to a reduction in the need to take action).  Authorities would then only apply conditions they could expect to enforce and the public could then accept developments with the confidence that what they see is what they get.  Some authorities would no doubt give up applying conditions – but this would be in affect little different from what happens now. 

The additional cost of this could be recouped through fines for the most flagrant breaches of planning approval.

A spin off consequence of this would be a marked improvement in the UK landscape industry as contractors would no longer be able to walk away from poorly implemented schemes and the UK Nursery trade may be able to get back on its feet and start producing proper quality plant stock.

This suggestion is targeted at only commercial developments.  The reason for this as there is a distinct contrast between how most planning officers treat the public from how commercial developers.  With a member of the public most planners instantly go into a Cap and Badge syndrome mentality.  With a commercial developer most planners start to open their top button reminiscent of Pamela Stephenson on Not the Nine O'clock News (there that dates me doesn't it)!

 

Why is this idea important?

This suggestion is not to remove a regulation but to ask for Planning Authorities to be under a statutory obligation to monitor and enforce conditions they apply to planning consents.  The result may be that the number of conditions applied to developers may be reduced but they would be enforced.

National guidance on planning conditions sets out that conditions should only be used to make a development that would otherwise be unacceptable acceptable.  It follows then that any such conditions must be important, but they are rarely enforced.  In almost every town across the UK you can go to your local supermarket, housing development, industrial development or similar and see areas of tree or shrub planting with dead trees or knee height in weeds.  Many other aspects of development mitigation also go un checked or not implemented leaving local communities all the poorer and occasionally neighbouring individuals seriously disadvantaged. 

Many developers look on planning conditions as an optional extra and pay lip service to the requirements they have been set with a planning approval.

All authorities should be formally required to inspect commercial development sites annually for 5 years post completion (the inspections should be on a public register) and be under a statutory obligation to enforce conditions where a developer is found to be in breach.  This would add to the work load of planning departments but in time would lead to a much clearer understanding from developers they must implement schemes only as approved (which would then in turn lead to a reduction in the need to take action).  Authorities would then only apply conditions they could expect to enforce and the public could then accept developments with the confidence that what they see is what they get.  Some authorities would no doubt give up applying conditions – but this would be in affect little different from what happens now. 

The additional cost of this could be recouped through fines for the most flagrant breaches of planning approval.

A spin off consequence of this would be a marked improvement in the UK landscape industry as contractors would no longer be able to walk away from poorly implemented schemes and the UK Nursery trade may be able to get back on its feet and start producing proper quality plant stock.

This suggestion is targeted at only commercial developments.  The reason for this as there is a distinct contrast between how most planning officers treat the public from how commercial developers.  With a member of the public most planners instantly go into a Cap and Badge syndrome mentality.  With a commercial developer most planners start to open their top button reminiscent of Pamela Stephenson on Not the Nine O'clock News (there that dates me doesn't it)!

 

Remove listed orders for private owned homes

Our house and next doors has the front facing bay window listed.The road we live on has approx 70%-80% block flats on it.Our house and next doors is in 1/2 of an acre.We cannot sell to developers because of this listing.I personally see no point to it as it is of no use to the public interest.The government should look at all old listed building order's and restrict them to places of interest to the public. Putting a listing on the front of a house makes no sense at all especially if the majority of buildings on the same road are all blocks of flats.We have a coach house which had a restriction for it not to be removed. When the Birmingham city council rented  one of their properties with the coachouse that was in need of repair they scrapped the listing just so that they could pull down their coachouse as re-building it would have cost alot,this was 2 doors away from us. They do what they want when they want.  

Why is this idea important?

Our house and next doors has the front facing bay window listed.The road we live on has approx 70%-80% block flats on it.Our house and next doors is in 1/2 of an acre.We cannot sell to developers because of this listing.I personally see no point to it as it is of no use to the public interest.The government should look at all old listed building order's and restrict them to places of interest to the public. Putting a listing on the front of a house makes no sense at all especially if the majority of buildings on the same road are all blocks of flats.We have a coach house which had a restriction for it not to be removed. When the Birmingham city council rented  one of their properties with the coachouse that was in need of repair they scrapped the listing just so that they could pull down their coachouse as re-building it would have cost alot,this was 2 doors away from us. They do what they want when they want.  

Planning Inspectorate

The activities of the Planning Inspectorate need curtailing.  If a planning application is turned down, an appeal can be launched by the aggrieved party.   However, the Inspectorate appoints someone who knows nothing about the area and his/her opinion takes precedence of that of the local planning authority.  Even though the Inspectorate employs someone to do quality control of its decisions, it appears not to carry out any quality control.  I know of a case when the Inspectorate was asked to review a decision it had made, the quality control man sid they could not do this because they had thrown away the papers!

Why is this idea important?

The activities of the Planning Inspectorate need curtailing.  If a planning application is turned down, an appeal can be launched by the aggrieved party.   However, the Inspectorate appoints someone who knows nothing about the area and his/her opinion takes precedence of that of the local planning authority.  Even though the Inspectorate employs someone to do quality control of its decisions, it appears not to carry out any quality control.  I know of a case when the Inspectorate was asked to review a decision it had made, the quality control man sid they could not do this because they had thrown away the papers!

Abolish the AONB boards

A few years ago it was decided that AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) should each have some form of board, invoving a staff, website, publications, meetings, input into planning decisions etc. These were duly formed and now are staffed up and eating money and wasting time.  

The planning functions can be discharged by locally elected bodies eg councils who have due regard to AONB status when looking at applications.  Everything else they do is a complete waste of time including handing out tiny grants to local bodies – councils can, and do, this already.  Basically they are an extra layer of non-accountable cost which duplicates council functions.  No-one asked for them and no-one would miss them.

Why is this idea important?

A few years ago it was decided that AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) should each have some form of board, invoving a staff, website, publications, meetings, input into planning decisions etc. These were duly formed and now are staffed up and eating money and wasting time.  

The planning functions can be discharged by locally elected bodies eg councils who have due regard to AONB status when looking at applications.  Everything else they do is a complete waste of time including handing out tiny grants to local bodies – councils can, and do, this already.  Basically they are an extra layer of non-accountable cost which duplicates council functions.  No-one asked for them and no-one would miss them.

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

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 is this idea important?

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!

Banning Retrospective Planning Applicatiopns

There have been many cases of abuse of the planning laws by people who develop a site without having applied to do so and who are then allowed to submit a retrospective application to the local authority. Almost everyone knows that planning laws exist yet some deliberately proceed with development knowing that they can get away with it. I suggest that the ability to apply retrospectively for such permission should be abolished and that those who abuse the planning laws should be summarily prosecuted for so doing. I further suggest that the Planning Inspectorate quango be abolished and that decisions on planning matters be made to sole prerogative of local authorities. The Planning Inspectorate has little knowledge about such sites and yet are empowered to overturn the decisions of local authorities who are in a far better position to judge whether a particular development plan is acceptable in their area.

Why is this idea important?

There have been many cases of abuse of the planning laws by people who develop a site without having applied to do so and who are then allowed to submit a retrospective application to the local authority. Almost everyone knows that planning laws exist yet some deliberately proceed with development knowing that they can get away with it. I suggest that the ability to apply retrospectively for such permission should be abolished and that those who abuse the planning laws should be summarily prosecuted for so doing. I further suggest that the Planning Inspectorate quango be abolished and that decisions on planning matters be made to sole prerogative of local authorities. The Planning Inspectorate has little knowledge about such sites and yet are empowered to overturn the decisions of local authorities who are in a far better position to judge whether a particular development plan is acceptable in their area.

Limit Traveller and Squatters Rights

Remove all laws relating to squatters rights, treating squatting as a criminal rather than civil matter in all circumstances where the squattee does not have legal ownership of the property or land in question, allowing the immediate removal by police of such people.

Why is this idea important?

Remove all laws relating to squatters rights, treating squatting as a criminal rather than civil matter in all circumstances where the squattee does not have legal ownership of the property or land in question, allowing the immediate removal by police of such people.

Restore equal rights for rural residents

Repeal the statutes which fail to safeguard rural areas from those who treat planning regulations, and existing residents, with complete contempt.

 

Retrospective planning permission should be abolished. Unlawful settlement on land, which has no sanitory or other essential services, should be a criminal offence.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the statutes which fail to safeguard rural areas from those who treat planning regulations, and existing residents, with complete contempt.

 

Retrospective planning permission should be abolished. Unlawful settlement on land, which has no sanitory or other essential services, should be a criminal offence.

Cut planning and conservation rules

To do away with unnecessary and restrictive planning and conservation regulations that stop people doings things such as erecting a shed in a rural area or taking down an old delapidated building that has no archetectural or cultural merit. To ensure planning authorities actually listen to local people and not just the planners. To stop the need for archaeological surveys for every small builing

Why is this idea important?

To do away with unnecessary and restrictive planning and conservation regulations that stop people doings things such as erecting a shed in a rural area or taking down an old delapidated building that has no archetectural or cultural merit. To ensure planning authorities actually listen to local people and not just the planners. To stop the need for archaeological surveys for every small builing

Reduce Planning Bureaucracy

We need to make serious reductions to the amount of paperwork that needs to be done in order to speed up and streamline the planning system.

I'm a year or so from graduating as an architect and have already studied planning. I've worked in both fields and the amount of paperwork needed just to get planning permission is incredible. The previous government, despite making some positive changes, have made it harder and more expensive to get planning and build.

Public sector planners have been allowed to request an ever increasing range of documents and reports from developers – tree surveys, bat surveys, traffic impact assessments, environmental impact assessments, design and access statements, statements of community consultation etc etc, all of which can cost thousands upon thousands from specialist consultants. In some cases, these are necessary, however all too often planners aren't sure of whether they are needed so will request anything vaguely applicable to cover their own backs, with no understanding of the costs and time delays involved.

In short: make planners justify all aditional documentation that they request.

Why is this idea important?

We need to make serious reductions to the amount of paperwork that needs to be done in order to speed up and streamline the planning system.

I'm a year or so from graduating as an architect and have already studied planning. I've worked in both fields and the amount of paperwork needed just to get planning permission is incredible. The previous government, despite making some positive changes, have made it harder and more expensive to get planning and build.

Public sector planners have been allowed to request an ever increasing range of documents and reports from developers – tree surveys, bat surveys, traffic impact assessments, environmental impact assessments, design and access statements, statements of community consultation etc etc, all of which can cost thousands upon thousands from specialist consultants. In some cases, these are necessary, however all too often planners aren't sure of whether they are needed so will request anything vaguely applicable to cover their own backs, with no understanding of the costs and time delays involved.

In short: make planners justify all aditional documentation that they request.

Allowing low impact development on agricultural land

There are thousands of people in the UK who would like to farm there own land but cannot afford the half million £s needed for a farm with accommodation. The planning laws in this area are highly outdated and make it virtually impossible to build up new small farms from bare land.

The countryside is now only for big agribusiness and a playground for the rich, so there is very little new enterprise in small scale agriculture, which is badly needed.

Because of the low incomes involved it is impossible to start up a small agricultural business and pay rent/mortgage on a separate home.

Small, low impact and easily removable dwellings should be allowed while (and only WHILE) the land is being used for agriculture, either business or self sufficiency, which then often grows into small business by selling surplus, providing good local produce, and providing a fulfilling employment in the countryside, which surely is good for everyone.

The British countryside has got to let go if its NIMBY attitude, or it will end up a stale, gated community.

Why is this idea important?

There are thousands of people in the UK who would like to farm there own land but cannot afford the half million £s needed for a farm with accommodation. The planning laws in this area are highly outdated and make it virtually impossible to build up new small farms from bare land.

The countryside is now only for big agribusiness and a playground for the rich, so there is very little new enterprise in small scale agriculture, which is badly needed.

Because of the low incomes involved it is impossible to start up a small agricultural business and pay rent/mortgage on a separate home.

Small, low impact and easily removable dwellings should be allowed while (and only WHILE) the land is being used for agriculture, either business or self sufficiency, which then often grows into small business by selling surplus, providing good local produce, and providing a fulfilling employment in the countryside, which surely is good for everyone.

The British countryside has got to let go if its NIMBY attitude, or it will end up a stale, gated community.

Get rid of agricultural tie restrictions on dwellings

Good idea after WW2, but out of date in 2010. Why should owners of agtie properties be forced to either comply with restriction or have to sell if they cannot?  If an ag business or employment ceases why should I leave my home?  I should not be forced to market it for up to 2 years to demonstrate a lack of local agricultural housing need! I dont want to move.

I accept there has to be some planning regulation in the countryside, but this law is surely against human rights? Im proposing radical changes in what constitutes agricultural occupancy.  The list of occupations should be widened to encompass smallholder, farrier, blacksmith, and other country occupations not presently accepted under the existing legislation. And, because profit isnt necessarily the main point for some whose lifestyle choice has led them to an agtie property, the necessity to prove income should be abolished.  

Why is this idea important?

Good idea after WW2, but out of date in 2010. Why should owners of agtie properties be forced to either comply with restriction or have to sell if they cannot?  If an ag business or employment ceases why should I leave my home?  I should not be forced to market it for up to 2 years to demonstrate a lack of local agricultural housing need! I dont want to move.

I accept there has to be some planning regulation in the countryside, but this law is surely against human rights? Im proposing radical changes in what constitutes agricultural occupancy.  The list of occupations should be widened to encompass smallholder, farrier, blacksmith, and other country occupations not presently accepted under the existing legislation. And, because profit isnt necessarily the main point for some whose lifestyle choice has led them to an agtie property, the necessity to prove income should be abolished.  

Remove the restriction barring Objectors from appealing a Planning decision.

Currently only the requestor of Planning Consent can appeal if the decision goes against them. The same right is not afforded to Ojectors. Remove this unfairness.

Why is this idea important?

Currently only the requestor of Planning Consent can appeal if the decision goes against them. The same right is not afforded to Ojectors. Remove this unfairness.

Repeal some of appeal provisions of Town and Country Planning Act

I would suggest the virtual abolition of the rights of appeal contained in the Town and Country Planning Act and that central government, in the shape of the Planning Inspectorate, should have no role in the vast majority of planning matters. 

 

Historically, about two-thirds of planning appeals are rejected – meaning that in those cases the local planning authority’s original decision was “correct”.  We maintain an appeals system for the minority of cases (about one third) where the planning authority made a “wrong” decision.  That is a waste of resources and takes away the rights of local authorities to make their own decions – at grass roots level.

 

With no right of appeal it might be necessary to widen the circumstances in which the Secretary of State “calls-in” applications for his own determination.

 

The rights of appeal against non-determination of a planning application and against an enforcement notice would need to be retained.  But with those exceptions the power and responsibility for dealing with planning matters would be returned to the local level where it properly belongs.  The man from Whitehall would not be able to interfere.

Why is this idea important?

I would suggest the virtual abolition of the rights of appeal contained in the Town and Country Planning Act and that central government, in the shape of the Planning Inspectorate, should have no role in the vast majority of planning matters. 

 

Historically, about two-thirds of planning appeals are rejected – meaning that in those cases the local planning authority’s original decision was “correct”.  We maintain an appeals system for the minority of cases (about one third) where the planning authority made a “wrong” decision.  That is a waste of resources and takes away the rights of local authorities to make their own decions – at grass roots level.

 

With no right of appeal it might be necessary to widen the circumstances in which the Secretary of State “calls-in” applications for his own determination.

 

The rights of appeal against non-determination of a planning application and against an enforcement notice would need to be retained.  But with those exceptions the power and responsibility for dealing with planning matters would be returned to the local level where it properly belongs.  The man from Whitehall would not be able to interfere.

Reform and clarify the planning system to progressive beauty

The planning system is an out of date, dishonest and currupt monster. It restricts, hinders and punishers those who dare to challenge it and lead business forward with new ideas, buildings and concepts.

I and many of my collegues would invest far more money into business infrastructure to benefit the local enconomy, lower rents and capital costs, improve efficiency, and lower carbon footprints and improve the life of all who work in the economy. I personally invest only 20% of my potential in my business because of the problems, uncretainties and vagarities of the planning system.

This planning system is a mess. Since it was introduced the quality, range and visual amenity of all properties has deteriated, and has only seen a small improvement in the last decade, but still we live in a world of poor quality buildings and workspaces.

This system is policed by biased and corrupt planners who nearly always make a decision to refuse a progressive application and then bend and manipulate the law to fit their decisions. That is unless one of their pals on the planning committee is involved in which case they do just the opposite. Many progressive and highly functional and efficient buildings and land uses are stopped by the 1% of nimbies and their councillor chums whoc then unfairly and unconstitutionaly influence the planners to lie and missrepresent the planning law to refuse and application. I have a small business development which is both low impact and visually unintrusive for hi tech office use, but we have and continue to fight the planners for everything and 5 years in we are still fighting and subject to intrusive inspections by planning officers to try to stop us using our permitted development rights. Throughout this process we have shelved plans for wood fired heating, small wind turbine and a small solar project to progress our energy consumption and have had to aboandon all due to the local authority planning incompetance and obstructions.

here is the typical scenario. We contact the planner for some advice. Is this xyz alteration to our building okay. We then write in after no responce. We are told a load of rubbish that yes we will look at the application and we could not possibly issue a view on it prior to an application. Then as soon as we submit an application they are suddenly 100% sure that all they can do is refuse an application and there is no possibility of passing it. ??Why could they not have said it before. Then we go to appeal and as long as we do not get an x planning officer at appeal we get the permission granted and the planning authority make a fool of themselves lying through their back teeth to back up their reasons for refusal which were all fabricated.

This is all a long and drawn out unnecesary process and we should look at a form of zoning with restrictions on hieght and use in certain areas and alow a certain amount of land each year to be set aside fo new uses close to existing towns. Planners should be forced to represent the law correctly and not lie to applicants and give more honest and less obstructive advice. This unnecesary and overly beurocratic system is holding back business, increasing house rents and capital values andis not deliverying a better built environment or better houses to live in. The system has its head in the sand when in comes to solar gain through south facing windows, solar heating and panels, quality of living space and aspect and beauty.

We need to look at a total overhaul of this sytem and produce a postive progressive, not negative regressive process which encourages people to invest in quality eficient and beautiful buildings which are a joy to behold. When people look back at the buildings from 1960 to 2010 they will wonder what on earth we were doing bar a few fantastic exeptions. Lets make 2010 onwards more progressive, more beautiful, more postive and make Britain a fantastic place to live.

Why is this idea important?

The planning system is an out of date, dishonest and currupt monster. It restricts, hinders and punishers those who dare to challenge it and lead business forward with new ideas, buildings and concepts.

I and many of my collegues would invest far more money into business infrastructure to benefit the local enconomy, lower rents and capital costs, improve efficiency, and lower carbon footprints and improve the life of all who work in the economy. I personally invest only 20% of my potential in my business because of the problems, uncretainties and vagarities of the planning system.

This planning system is a mess. Since it was introduced the quality, range and visual amenity of all properties has deteriated, and has only seen a small improvement in the last decade, but still we live in a world of poor quality buildings and workspaces.

This system is policed by biased and corrupt planners who nearly always make a decision to refuse a progressive application and then bend and manipulate the law to fit their decisions. That is unless one of their pals on the planning committee is involved in which case they do just the opposite. Many progressive and highly functional and efficient buildings and land uses are stopped by the 1% of nimbies and their councillor chums whoc then unfairly and unconstitutionaly influence the planners to lie and missrepresent the planning law to refuse and application. I have a small business development which is both low impact and visually unintrusive for hi tech office use, but we have and continue to fight the planners for everything and 5 years in we are still fighting and subject to intrusive inspections by planning officers to try to stop us using our permitted development rights. Throughout this process we have shelved plans for wood fired heating, small wind turbine and a small solar project to progress our energy consumption and have had to aboandon all due to the local authority planning incompetance and obstructions.

here is the typical scenario. We contact the planner for some advice. Is this xyz alteration to our building okay. We then write in after no responce. We are told a load of rubbish that yes we will look at the application and we could not possibly issue a view on it prior to an application. Then as soon as we submit an application they are suddenly 100% sure that all they can do is refuse an application and there is no possibility of passing it. ??Why could they not have said it before. Then we go to appeal and as long as we do not get an x planning officer at appeal we get the permission granted and the planning authority make a fool of themselves lying through their back teeth to back up their reasons for refusal which were all fabricated.

This is all a long and drawn out unnecesary process and we should look at a form of zoning with restrictions on hieght and use in certain areas and alow a certain amount of land each year to be set aside fo new uses close to existing towns. Planners should be forced to represent the law correctly and not lie to applicants and give more honest and less obstructive advice. This unnecesary and overly beurocratic system is holding back business, increasing house rents and capital values andis not deliverying a better built environment or better houses to live in. The system has its head in the sand when in comes to solar gain through south facing windows, solar heating and panels, quality of living space and aspect and beauty.

We need to look at a total overhaul of this sytem and produce a postive progressive, not negative regressive process which encourages people to invest in quality eficient and beautiful buildings which are a joy to behold. When people look back at the buildings from 1960 to 2010 they will wonder what on earth we were doing bar a few fantastic exeptions. Lets make 2010 onwards more progressive, more beautiful, more postive and make Britain a fantastic place to live.