GET RID OF LOCAL COUNCILS – GIVE US OUR LIBERTY BACK

Ealing Council unable to answer the following straightforward questions. 

The Leader of the Council refuses to intervene and submits matter back to Planning which is contrary to the Council Constitution which states "no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved" and to create a "powerful and effective means of holding decision makers to public account". 

David Cameron has not even had the courtesy to respond to recorded delivery correspondence.  Why are we electing governments to represent us when they have no intention to represent the people?

The questions:

How a developer was permitted to circumvent the Planning Appeal Process clearly set out in the Planning Policy given there were no changes in the proceedings or the application since the previous meeting other than the fact of the implementation of PPS3 and the Council have not explained WHY the appeal process was not followed. If there is a process in place, how is it that the Council permitted breach of the Appeal process?

Why Ealing Council did not make reference to the Planning Committee of PPS3 which was issued in June 2010 and before the Planning Committee meeting itself given that the policy was material to the case with respect to backland development. Why the Planning Committee were not advised that changes in policy resulting from PPS3 would be relevant to the issue in hand.
 

Why Ealing Council stated that the revised PPS3 was not relevant given its implementation is retrospective.
 

Why Ealing Council did not follow its own procedures in notification of the Planning Committee Decision to Residents given we received formal notification on previous occasions. In particular, we were never formally notified of the Revocation Decision although it was published on the website, neither have we been officially notified that the Revocation Decision has been overturned so are assuming this is not the case.
 

How the Council were able to justify re-tabling the matter before a differently constituted committee after the planning committee had already made its decision in order to obtain the decision they required and thereby, circumventing the Appeal process.

Why were the newly constituted Committees not given the opportunity to view the development site in question given the controversy surrounding the grant due to Ealing Council's failure to properly serve notice to residents of the Application.

Why is this idea important?

Ealing Council unable to answer the following straightforward questions. 

The Leader of the Council refuses to intervene and submits matter back to Planning which is contrary to the Council Constitution which states "no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved" and to create a "powerful and effective means of holding decision makers to public account". 

David Cameron has not even had the courtesy to respond to recorded delivery correspondence.  Why are we electing governments to represent us when they have no intention to represent the people?

The questions:

How a developer was permitted to circumvent the Planning Appeal Process clearly set out in the Planning Policy given there were no changes in the proceedings or the application since the previous meeting other than the fact of the implementation of PPS3 and the Council have not explained WHY the appeal process was not followed. If there is a process in place, how is it that the Council permitted breach of the Appeal process?

Why Ealing Council did not make reference to the Planning Committee of PPS3 which was issued in June 2010 and before the Planning Committee meeting itself given that the policy was material to the case with respect to backland development. Why the Planning Committee were not advised that changes in policy resulting from PPS3 would be relevant to the issue in hand.
 

Why Ealing Council stated that the revised PPS3 was not relevant given its implementation is retrospective.
 

Why Ealing Council did not follow its own procedures in notification of the Planning Committee Decision to Residents given we received formal notification on previous occasions. In particular, we were never formally notified of the Revocation Decision although it was published on the website, neither have we been officially notified that the Revocation Decision has been overturned so are assuming this is not the case.
 

How the Council were able to justify re-tabling the matter before a differently constituted committee after the planning committee had already made its decision in order to obtain the decision they required and thereby, circumventing the Appeal process.

Why were the newly constituted Committees not given the opportunity to view the development site in question given the controversy surrounding the grant due to Ealing Council's failure to properly serve notice to residents of the Application.

Allow the right to live on one’s own land

Planning law makes it difficult for individuals to live in a modest way on thier own agricultural land. While planners should protect the countryside from overdevelopment, current planning law and practice presents a major obstacle to individuals who wish to cultivate the land and achieve a measure of self-sufficiency.

Everyone should have the right on live on the land they farm, and to do so is a basic civil liberty. Ludicrous planning laws conspire to make living on the land either expensive or difficult to achieve – or both.

Provision should be made for smallholders and farmers to live on the land. This need not be incompatible with preventing the countryside filling-up with houses. Dwellings could be modest or temporary in nature. The right to establsh them for genuine agricultural need is not fully supported by the planning system in England and Wales.

Why is this idea important?

Planning law makes it difficult for individuals to live in a modest way on thier own agricultural land. While planners should protect the countryside from overdevelopment, current planning law and practice presents a major obstacle to individuals who wish to cultivate the land and achieve a measure of self-sufficiency.

Everyone should have the right on live on the land they farm, and to do so is a basic civil liberty. Ludicrous planning laws conspire to make living on the land either expensive or difficult to achieve – or both.

Provision should be made for smallholders and farmers to live on the land. This need not be incompatible with preventing the countryside filling-up with houses. Dwellings could be modest or temporary in nature. The right to establsh them for genuine agricultural need is not fully supported by the planning system in England and Wales.

AMEND INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS PLANNING REQUIREMENTS

It should be a condition for the granting of planning permission (at the Local Authority's discretion) for Industrial Buildings that the roofing should carry panels to generate electricity for the use of the unit concerned, with excess being fed into the national grid.

Why is this idea important?

It should be a condition for the granting of planning permission (at the Local Authority's discretion) for Industrial Buildings that the roofing should carry panels to generate electricity for the use of the unit concerned, with excess being fed into the national grid.

Criminalisation of Planning Breaches.

At present if a person is in breach of a planning application the local authority has to go through the civil courts to get approval to, for example, have a group of caravans removed from the site.  This can take several months to complete.  If such a flagrant breah was made a criminal offence then the Police could be called in at once to remove the caravans and arrest the offenders.

Why is this idea important?

At present if a person is in breach of a planning application the local authority has to go through the civil courts to get approval to, for example, have a group of caravans removed from the site.  This can take several months to complete.  If such a flagrant breah was made a criminal offence then the Police could be called in at once to remove the caravans and arrest the offenders.

promote true power to parish councils over planning

it has always been clear to me that i should be invovled in the local community and i did this in 2007 when i became a parish councillor for hoby in leicestershire. what i did not understand until 2009 was that the amount of red tape involved with this role and no more so was this in evidance that when responding to planning applications, oviously there needs to be some control over what parish councils can and can not do, but when a local parish council see's that a planning application is not in the best inertrests of the village or community in question that parish council should be able to more effectively block plans that do not fit in with the area. the main problem with the current system is that there is far to much (prescribed) policy in referance to local plans or stratigy. a forward step would be to give parish councils more powers to control planning in there communities without the need to refer back to the main local planning body and for local planning bodies to have a legislative right for them to look at the local plan of a community and for it not to be ignored. on the second part referance powers, at present parish councils have a wide ranging set of powers to control some local amenities this is good but i do feel that a local govenment bill should be brought forward to; 1. give more powers in respect to planning to local parishes; 2. to repeal such legislation in respect to a higher planning body having an over rule on small planning matters such as extentions to houses and the protection of green belt which in most cases can be compleated and undertaken by the parish council its self; 3 and finally the repeal of the parish councils (power to promote well being act) and replace with rights to all parish councils without assesment of those powers repealed in the above act, this would give parish councils more effect within there communities and it would also be a good idea to allow parishes to keep more of the money that has been precepted by the local district/county or unitery council as this would also give communities more influance in there area this idea could also work in non parished areas such as leicester, nottingham and derby so as to allow those communities to do more for there area.     

Why is this idea important?

it has always been clear to me that i should be invovled in the local community and i did this in 2007 when i became a parish councillor for hoby in leicestershire. what i did not understand until 2009 was that the amount of red tape involved with this role and no more so was this in evidance that when responding to planning applications, oviously there needs to be some control over what parish councils can and can not do, but when a local parish council see's that a planning application is not in the best inertrests of the village or community in question that parish council should be able to more effectively block plans that do not fit in with the area. the main problem with the current system is that there is far to much (prescribed) policy in referance to local plans or stratigy. a forward step would be to give parish councils more powers to control planning in there communities without the need to refer back to the main local planning body and for local planning bodies to have a legislative right for them to look at the local plan of a community and for it not to be ignored. on the second part referance powers, at present parish councils have a wide ranging set of powers to control some local amenities this is good but i do feel that a local govenment bill should be brought forward to; 1. give more powers in respect to planning to local parishes; 2. to repeal such legislation in respect to a higher planning body having an over rule on small planning matters such as extentions to houses and the protection of green belt which in most cases can be compleated and undertaken by the parish council its self; 3 and finally the repeal of the parish councils (power to promote well being act) and replace with rights to all parish councils without assesment of those powers repealed in the above act, this would give parish councils more effect within there communities and it would also be a good idea to allow parishes to keep more of the money that has been precepted by the local district/county or unitery council as this would also give communities more influance in there area this idea could also work in non parished areas such as leicester, nottingham and derby so as to allow those communities to do more for there area.     

unlimited repeat planning applications for same development

Present planning laws allow developers to re-apply  for permission to build virtually the same development,  i.e. with very small alterations, indefinitely and irrespective of how many refusals by the local authority.  This is a huge imposition on Councils and local residents who necessarily have to involve themselves in spending a lot of time and money defending unwanted planning appeals.  Resident groups are mostly up against giant organisations  [mainly supermarket chains] which have unlimited resources.  It is truly a David and Goliath situation except that in most cases Goliath is eventually the winner as they gradually wear down the opposition.  Surely, a rejection of one application and a a subsequent appeal is enough to show that the local residents or their Council, do not want the development to take place.  No organisation should be allowed to steamroller its way over the will of the people. 

Why is this idea important?

Present planning laws allow developers to re-apply  for permission to build virtually the same development,  i.e. with very small alterations, indefinitely and irrespective of how many refusals by the local authority.  This is a huge imposition on Councils and local residents who necessarily have to involve themselves in spending a lot of time and money defending unwanted planning appeals.  Resident groups are mostly up against giant organisations  [mainly supermarket chains] which have unlimited resources.  It is truly a David and Goliath situation except that in most cases Goliath is eventually the winner as they gradually wear down the opposition.  Surely, a rejection of one application and a a subsequent appeal is enough to show that the local residents or their Council, do not want the development to take place.  No organisation should be allowed to steamroller its way over the will of the people. 

Planning applications shouldn’t be an exercise in job creation

Planning applications used to need the submission of a 3 page form together with plans and elevations showing the proposals

Under directions ordered by the last government, Local Planning Authorities now require completion of a 10 page form as well as very detailed plans, sections and elevations.  They can also now ask for all sorts of things to accompany the application, such as Environmental Statements, Supporting Planning Statements, Design and Access Statements, Transport Assessments, Travel Plans, Flood Risk Assessments, Regeneration Statements, Retail Assessments, Sustainability Appraisals, Tree Surveys, Nature Conservation Assessments, Ecological Assessments, Noise Impact Assessments, Air Quality Assessments, Utilities Statements, Energy Statements, Archaeological Assessments, etc. 

As this is now all laid down in Local Authority Planning Protocols, there are many Planning Officers who will ask for unnecessary information  – without having the common sense to question it. 

The consequence is, of course, that many consultants need to be employed to prepare such assessments and statements and the cost of making planning applications has risen alarmingly.   Another side to the issue is that Local Authorities require additional staff (or their own consultants) to verfity and check the information, thereby creating an additional burden on tax payers.

These Local Planning Authority powers should be curbed so that development is allowed to proceed with minimal levels of bureaucracy.

 

Why is this idea important?

Planning applications used to need the submission of a 3 page form together with plans and elevations showing the proposals

Under directions ordered by the last government, Local Planning Authorities now require completion of a 10 page form as well as very detailed plans, sections and elevations.  They can also now ask for all sorts of things to accompany the application, such as Environmental Statements, Supporting Planning Statements, Design and Access Statements, Transport Assessments, Travel Plans, Flood Risk Assessments, Regeneration Statements, Retail Assessments, Sustainability Appraisals, Tree Surveys, Nature Conservation Assessments, Ecological Assessments, Noise Impact Assessments, Air Quality Assessments, Utilities Statements, Energy Statements, Archaeological Assessments, etc. 

As this is now all laid down in Local Authority Planning Protocols, there are many Planning Officers who will ask for unnecessary information  – without having the common sense to question it. 

The consequence is, of course, that many consultants need to be employed to prepare such assessments and statements and the cost of making planning applications has risen alarmingly.   Another side to the issue is that Local Authorities require additional staff (or their own consultants) to verfity and check the information, thereby creating an additional burden on tax payers.

These Local Planning Authority powers should be curbed so that development is allowed to proceed with minimal levels of bureaucracy.

 

Planning authority – incentivisation

Many planning officers reject planning applications which ultimately get approved on appeal. They have an incentive to reject – it keeps them in a job. I suggest they should be penalised, say £100 for every application where their rejection is overturned on appeal and that they are awarded a bonus of say £1000 everytime their rejection is ultimately approved by the Minister of State. Clearly every planning authority could review its own losing cases and identify the common mistakes they had made – there should be no reason for making mistakes in future. Equally, planning authorities could identify common elements in the cases where the Minister supported them – and they could consistently earn bonuses. Obviously the exact numbers – £100 penalty and £1000 bonus – could (and should) be adjusted from time to time to make the whole process virtually 'cost neutral'.

Doubtless it might be difficult to force this regime on autonomous 'district councils', but a start could be made by forcing it on the National Parks – starting with the 'Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority'.   

Why is this idea important?

Many planning officers reject planning applications which ultimately get approved on appeal. They have an incentive to reject – it keeps them in a job. I suggest they should be penalised, say £100 for every application where their rejection is overturned on appeal and that they are awarded a bonus of say £1000 everytime their rejection is ultimately approved by the Minister of State. Clearly every planning authority could review its own losing cases and identify the common mistakes they had made – there should be no reason for making mistakes in future. Equally, planning authorities could identify common elements in the cases where the Minister supported them – and they could consistently earn bonuses. Obviously the exact numbers – £100 penalty and £1000 bonus – could (and should) be adjusted from time to time to make the whole process virtually 'cost neutral'.

Doubtless it might be difficult to force this regime on autonomous 'district councils', but a start could be made by forcing it on the National Parks – starting with the 'Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority'.