LETTER: Local people should have more influence over planning decisions

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I have witnessed many planning applications where the objector’s view has been overlooked.

In many cases the application is passed with seemingly no consideration of the real concerns of local people. Even on the rare occasions the first application is not passed the inevitability of passing an appeal makes you wonder why anyone objects.

I suspect I am being a little unfair but I know there are many people who recognise this outcome and become very aggrieved.

The main issue with the current system is that if the applicant (developer) has his/her application turned down the logical thing to do is to appeal. Keep appealing until the decision is changed. The whole planning system is presumed in favour of the developer. UKIP policy is to give more influence to local people, by allowing the refusal of any large scale application to mean what it says.

Now we have a Conservative government that wants to further deplete the influence of local people by bypassing the planning laws in favour of housing.

Housing shortage is acute, we all know that and UKIP can point to an influx of uncontrolled immigration as a major factor. It stands to reason that net migration reaching the dizzy heights of 310,000, which does not include refugee numbers, is bound to affect the demand side of the economic equation.

However, to react to this situation by bypassing planning laws is quite a serious and worrying trend.

People already feel they have little power in a system that, in some people’s view, favours development but what planning minister Brandon Lewis MP proposes is set to leave people with no voice and no choice at all, I feel.

Councillor Alan Graves

UKIP East Midlands chairman