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Planning Disaster is a campaign launched 24 January 2007 at www.planningdisaster.co.uk in response to concerns that proposed changes to the planning system will reduce public involvement in decisions about the development of their communities. [1]

Comment 2007 Edit

  • The Planning Disaster Coalition have published a response to the Planning White Paper, Making Planning Better (PDF file - 2 pages). The statement sets out the Coalition`s shared vision of why planning matters, and what`s wrong with the White Paper. [2] topic
  • New Start editorial May 23 2007 Remember Swampy? It was only a decade ago that eco-warriors constructed networks of tunnels and tree houses to prevent roads and runways being built. Now they’re nearly old enough for a reunion tour.
  • Government presses ahead with business friendly planning white paper, CPRE, May 21
  • Planning white paper: bad for the environment, bad for communities, The Civic Trust, May 22. A coalition of environmental and social organisations supported by over 2.3 million people has come together to fight damaging Government proposals to reform the planning system.
  • Planning White Paper: give people a real say not just warm words, Transport 2000
  • TCPA welcomes national planning statements, but demands a right to be heard for communities, TCPA
  • Greenpeace on Planning White Paper, Greenpeace
  • Planning White Paper must put sustainable development centre stage, Natural England
  • Government looks set to launch multiple assault on wildlife, The Wildlife Trusts
  • UK no nearer to 2010 renewables target with Planning White Paper, British Wind Energy Association
  • Planning White Paper slammed, Friends of the Earth / Spatial planning news UK and comment
  • "Planning, by definition, is supposed to be a vision of the future. Given the urgency of climate change, this Planning White Paper should support low carbon and renewable energy technologies that are of benefit to both local communities and the wider environment. Instead it is clearly intended to open the door to new nuclear power stations and airports which are simply not the answer to the huge challenges we face." Greenpeace Director John Sauven, May 18
  • Cerebral Brown has caved in. This is cynical Brown's work, Simon Jenkins, The Guardian, May 16

Coalition response to the Planning White Paper, May 22 2007 Edit

"The Coalition has produced a shared vision entitled ‘Making Planning Better’ that sets out our ambitions for the Planning White Paper. We see the proposed reforms as an opportunity to achieve a stronger and more democratically accountable planning system that contributes to the achievement of sustainable development, and places land use planning at the heart of climate change reduction and adaptation. The starting point for the current White Paper was a Treasury-commissioned review of land use planning by the economist Kate Barker and transport by the former British Airways boss Rod Eddington. Officials have said that the Government is taking forward Eddington’s recommendations on major infrastructure projects. The Eddington report is also informing current re-structuring of DfT. A key point about the Barker and Eddington reports is that the authors were asked to focus on economic competitiveness and their briefs completely ignored social and environmental considerations. The Coalition considers that the recommendations in the final report of the Barker Review published in December 2006, are based on inconclusive evidence and will lead to an erosion of environmental protection and local democracy. This Coalition is not anti-development, but it is deeply concerned that the proposals in the Planning White Paper may undermine effective action on climate change and sustainable development, as well as, seriously weakening public consultation on major planning issues, particularly at the local level."

Coalition members Edit

As at May 2007, Coalition members include

  • AirportWatch
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Civic Trust
  • Council for National Parks
  • enoughsenough.org
  • Friends of the Earth
  • The Grasslands Trust
  • New Economics Foundation
  • Ramblers’ Association
  • RSPB
  • Transport 2000
  • UKRIGS
  • The Wildlife Trusts
  • The Woodland Trust

Diary UK Edit

  • May 16 2007 Planning White Paper publication expected, CPRE

Background Edit

The Chancellor has recently presided over the publication of two major reports - The Barker Review, and the Eddington Study on Transport - which put forward a series of planning reform proposals including changes to the way major infrastructure projects such as motorways and power plants are decided, and a presumption in favour of development.

Kate Barker began her review of England's land use planning system in January 2006. The final report was published in December 2006. Sir Rod Eddington was jointly commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Transport to examine the long-term links between transport and the UK's economic productivity, growth and stability. The study was published in December 2006.

The Government has already committed to a new White Paper on planning in spring this year (2007) that will take forward the Barker Review and Eddington Study recommendations.

What you can do Edit

Planning Disaster Coalition map highlights massive building plans for England and Wales, August 3 [3] The Coalition has made it easy for the public to make their voice heard in the Government consultation. All they need to do is send the Government an email via www.planningdisaster.co.uk. topic

Key concerns Edit

  • The reduction of public involvement in inquiries in order to speed up major projects
  • Increased domination of supermarkets in town centres at the expense of local shops
  • The reduction of people's right to have a say in planning proposals in their area
  • That wildlife, habitats and green belts will be under threat from development

What the campaign is calling for Edit

The coalition believes that the Chancellor should instead

  • Ensure major projects such as roads or nuclear power stations are decided with local input, democratic accountability, and in the framework of sustainable development;
  • Support local shops and town centres by retaining and strengthening the needs assessment requirement;
  • Ensure sustainable development principles guide development so that wildlife, habitats and greenbelt are protected, regeneration is encouraged and town centres remain vibrant;
  • Safeguard people's right to have a say in local plans by retaining and strengthening the issues and options discussion at the beginning of local plans, and funding greater positive participation in planning.

Quotes Edit

  • "The English countryside will be much more open to development if the Barker review is implemented. We must not allow economics to be the main driver of how England will develop. Environmental sustainability and quality of life should be given equal consideration." The Campaign to Protect Rural England's Head of Planning, Marina Pacheco
  • "If implemented, proposals to remove the "Needs test", as part of the planning process for retail development would lead to the domination of supermarkets at the expense of local shops and could put the clock back to the days of unsustainable out-of-town developments. We believe that this proposed reform could undo the achievements of the `town centre first' policy and would prove to be a huge blow to the viability of local shopping." The Civic Trust's Hannah Mummery
  • "Local people and communities will lose out if the recommendations are implemented. The Government must ensure that people have a say on the future of their communities and their environment as part of a robust land-use planning system." Friends of the Earth's Planning Advisor, Hugh Ellis
  • "What government and big businesses see as red tape and bureaucracy, we see as vital local democracy and participation. Government must protect, not reduce, greenbelt and open spaces if people are to get the health and wellbeing benefits associated with the outdoors." The Ramblers Association's Countryside Campaign Manager, Patrick Grady
  • "The effect of the Barker and Eddington proposals would be to create a separate planning system for major infrastructure projects, such as new airport runways and motorways, in parallel to the existing well-established and respected planning system. It would bypass local democratic accountability and local communities and would in our view be anti-democratic". Transport 2000's Transport Round-table Coordinator, Denise Carlo
  • "Proposals for speeding up major infrastructure projects and introducing a stronger presumption in favour of development is an act of folly. The Government needs to recognise that in the face of threats like climate change, environmental protection is ever more important. Reducing local community involvement and cutting back protection of habitats such as ancient woodland in the wider countryside is the opposite of what we should be doing. The Woodland Trust is currently dealing with over 390 cases of ancient woods under threat and these plans will only increase the number of cases we have to fight." The Woodland Trust's Head of Campaigns, Ed Pomfret
  • "Harmful development which fragments wildlife sites must become a thing of the past. Climate-proofing the way we use land is becoming essential. Local planning authorities should adopt policies which give species and habitats a fighting chance of adapting to climate change. This means promoting large areas of green space which can allow the movement of wildlife in response to changes in the future climate. After the last ice age wildlife didn't have to contend with the M4 corridor or huge urban areas as it sought to adapt." The Wildlife Trust's head of rebuilding biodiversity, John Everitt

Related topics Edit

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. Friends of the Earth press release
  2. Transport 2000, (undated)
  3. Friends of the Earth, August 3


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