Does anyone have any thoughts on the planning aspects of the Localism Bill? This will enhance the position of parish councils, such as Swanage Town Council and enable any local group of 21 people or more to demand official recognition and support and draw up a "neigbourhood development plan" As a result, it is claimed, "Neighbourhood planning will allow communities to come together through a local parish council or neighbourhood forum and say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like." (source "A plain English guide to the Localism Bill")
The idea of a couple of dozen random and self-selecting and unelected citizens being able to take control of planning looks pretty scary to me. You notice the word "or" in my quote. You can set up in opposition to the parish council and there does not seem to be anything to stop a determined developer setting up a group if they can persuade 21 noddies to join it and writng their own neighbourhood plan for their patch of the town.
On the other hand it looks like the residents of a conservation area could put themselves in a better position to safeguard the area against unsympathetic changes, an area in which it must be said PDC have been more than a little lacking. A problem we have discussed on here in the past.
Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 21/8/11 10:23 PM