Monday, 5 October 2009

New planning quango will push our local residents further away from the planning process

As Gordon Brown’s controversial planning quango, the Infrastructure Planning Commission, opens its doors Laura Sandys has warned that it will distance local residents even further from the planning process. “We already have planning applications for smaller developments often referred to Bristol who determine what is built in Thanet and Sandwich, and now we are having the powers to determine very large projects taken our of our hands.”

For Thanet and Sandwich this has particular concern as this new body can determine planning applications relating to

· airport-related development;
· the construction or alteration of harbour facilities;
· the construction or alteration of a railway;
· development relating to the transfer of water resources;
· the construction or alteration of a hazardous waste facility.

· The new unelected body is to take control of determining planning applications on large projects as above and it will base its decisions on National Policy Statements issued by Ministers as diktats with no substantive vote in Parliament.

· Despite Gordon Brown’s recent TUC speech promising to “cut costs”, the new quango will cost £10 million a year, and its Chairman will be paid £184,000 a year for a four day week. The Commissioners will be appointed on a minimum fixed term of five years and cannot be removed short of criminal misconduct – making them the most unaccountable quangocrats in Britain.

· At a stroke, local residents, local authorities like Thanet and Dover & Deal and elected representatives will be stripped of any say on the most controversial planning decisions that will affect the lives of tens of thousands of people. This contradicts Gordon Brown’s promise when he became Prime Minister to stop politics being “a spectator sport.” Conservatives are warning that the new planning regime will also lead to a flood of legal challenges in the High Court and the European Court of Justice.

· Under Conservative plans, the Infrastructure Planning Commission will be abolished. National Policy Statements would remain – but each one would have to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament to ensure democratic legitimacy, and to reduce the scope for legal challenges.

Laura said:
“Trust in politics is at an all time low, and Gordon Brown’s response is to put democracy on the scrapheap. Thanet and Sandwich residents and their elected representatives are being disenfranchised on a massive scale by the most unaccountable quangocrats ever created.”


  1. Sounds good to me!

  2. I agree, anything that takes control away from TDC re the airport is a good thing.

  3. Ah, yes but didn't the Tories plan to do away with most planning controls to make it easier for developers, freeing them from 'red tape? So what controls would be left? None, so we'd have houses on every tiny plot of land so their big buddies can make money from selling teeny, tiny houses.


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