Plans to 'remove local say' in planning decisions slammed by Mansfield's Mayor

Mansfield’s Labour mayor is calling on councillors of all parties to join a Mansfield district-wide campaign to defeat the Conservatives’ planned Developers’ Charter.

By Tim Cunningham
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:15 pm

Andy Abrahams says the charter would prevent local residents from objecting to developers’ plans to build slums, eyesores, or any other form of inappropriate new buildings on their streets, in their communities or on treasured public spaces.

Labour councillors are calling for a unanimous message from the council to the government, and will place a motion before the next full meeting of the council in September.

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Mansfield Mayor Andy Abrahams

Mr Abrahams said: “We have to build more homes – but we’ve got to do it the right way, and local communities have got to have a voice in planning decisions.

“People in Mansfield Woodhouse and Warsop must not lose their right to a fair say over new developments in our streets, our communities and on our playgrounds, parks and fields. Yet that’s exactly what this Conservative Government is planning.

“No one in Mansfield district wants this Developers’ Charter. As representatives of this community all councillors can surely unite to oppose these dreadful changes.

“Let’s put the politics to one side and send a clear and unambiguous message – Mansfield says no to the Developers’ Charter.”

The move comes as Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Steve Reed has written to every councillor in the country asking them to unite against the proposals.

It reads: “The Government has published highly controversial proposals to reform the planning system. One aspect that has raised particular concern is the proposal to remove local residents’ right to object to individual planning applications in their own neighbourhood if the area is zoned for growth or renewal.

“Last week, the House of Commons called on the Government to protect residents’ right to retain a voice over planning applications, recognizing that the best way to get necessary new homes built is to support communities, councils and developers to work in partnership.”

He urges councillors to “ask your council to pass the same motion so we can show widespread support for the principle of protecting residents’ right to a say over individual planning applications in their own area.”

"Many local people have already expressed anger that this long-established democratic right is under threat.”

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