The TCPA has always been committed to a democratic planning system which reflects the rights of communities to shape their own future. The Association was at the forefront of community campaigns in the 1960s and fought for the legal right for communities to be heard in person at local planning inquiries. Many of our concerns about the Westminster government’s planning reform agenda focus on the removal of these democratic rights and their replacement with informal ‘opportunities’ for public consultation.
The Raynsford Review, the final report for which we published in Nov 2018, catalogued both the dismantling of the English planning system and the growing problem of a lack of public trust in decision making. The Review set out a comprehensive new settlement for people in planning designed to rebuild public confidence in the system.
Many of the local community groups involved in the Review have continued to talk to us about their anger at their powerlessness over local decisions, not least in relation to the expansion of permitted development. As a result, we have decided to host a series of blogs which provide an opportunity to explore some of the issues confronting those trying to engage in planning to shape the future. The blogs are not designed to be representative or comprehensive, but rather to provoke thought.