Lancaster Civic Society says government changes to planning guidelines could damage historic cities like Lancaster
Lancaster Civic Society is extremely concerned about the negative impact of the recently announced government proposals to reform the UK planning system.
These proposals were announced by the Right Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, under the heading of ‘planning for the future’.
Lancaster Civic Society have now had the opportunity to examine these proposals in detail and not only have severe concerns about their impact but are opposed to them in general, and specifically for the city of Lancaster and surrounding areas.
Chair John Regan said: “The proposed changes are bad for local democracy and would undermine the scope of local communities and councils to influence the future development of their area.
“We believe that the planning process which is subject to local democratic, public scrutiny by way of a planning application decided by a planning committee has operated effectively since its introduction by the 1947 planning act and has helped protect and improve the physical environment of the nation.
“Our view is that instead of promoting the deregulation of planning the Government should be considering revitalizing the system by a programme of sustained investment.
“Of particularly concern is the impact of the proposals on historic cities like Lancaster.
“Our fear is that the new proposals will remove the ability of local councils to adequately control the impact of new developments adjacent to listed buildings and conservation areas. The suggested changes are likely to have a major impact on the setting of much of our historic urban fabric.
“We are also concerned that the proposals will significantly reduce the extent of planning gain that Local Planning Authorities can secure, which will adversely affect the delivery of badly needed affordable housing.
“In conclusion, we are opposed to the proposed reforms and would urge the government to withdraw these proposals.