Standing against planning changes

A MAN from the Daventry area is leading calls to stop planning changes which he says could give local people even less say.

The Government has unveiled its proposals to alter the planning system and give local people more say.

However, opponents including the National Trust and the WI, say the changes mean developers will get a freer hand to build what they want and where.

Watford resident Adrian Snook last week gathered 80 MPs in Westminster to discuss their worries over the changes.

He told the Daventry Express: “Many Conservatives championed localism at the last election and giving communities more say in planning and removing top-down targets was one of the key areas.

“This proposal says the default position should be to grant permission for sustainable developments.

“It looks like the only thing a community will be able to change is if they think a developer could exploit their landscape even more.

“The ‘neighbourhood plans’ they talked about will not be allowed to oppose local, national, or EU planning policy. It seems you can have your say only if you agree with the Government.

“It could mean new estates and town extensions being built on green fields – and they won’t be cheap affordable homes – developers will maximise their profit.”

Daventry’s MP Chris Heaton-Harris was one of those at the meeting. He said: “Daventry district is unique I think in that we are already seeing the affect of this.

“There are developers already re-submitting applications saying that in the light of these proposals DDC should re-think their refusal of permission.

“We need the Government to make it clear what this new policy means as soon as possible.”