Now there’s no excuse for poor planning decisions

Date: Monday 11th September 2017

Sir, Many, including myself, have argued for some time that Eden Council’s planning officers and the planning committee should have given significant weight to the local plan when considering planning applications.

Sadly, this has not been the case and as a consequence many rural areas will be overdeveloped in the next five years in direct contradiction to the council’s own plans.

However, there is good news; at last we have reached a crucial stage in the local plan (completion of the major modifications stage) and we can all agree that from now on close to full weight should be given to the local plan in planning decisions.

This means that planning officers no longer have reasons to approve planning applications in villages and hamlets unless they are to meet local needs. Furthermore, the views of communities can start to align with the ambitions of the council as expressed in its local plan. So:

No more approvals for houses being built in villages and hamlets where there are no services to support those developments.

No more development which destroys the character, form and historical context of villages.

No more development that sacrifices landscape, and amenity for development which could have been built in more sustainable locations.

No more claiming a focus on sustainable development while granting permissions for demonstrably unsustainable development.

So, Eden Council, don’t disappoint: no more excuses for poor planning decisions — we all agree we can start making the right decisions that reflect your stated intentions and allow the essential trust between communities and the district council to be rebuilt. Yours etc,

PHIL GREENING

By e-mail