Power in planning politics may be shifting too far towards anti-development groups

Matt Clarke - Boyer (002)

Localist measures in the levelling up and regeneration bill must not simply be a tool to placate those opposed to development, argues Matt Clarke

May’s local elections are proving to have had more of a significant impact on planning and development than was initially apparent.

From a planning point of view, concern at the time of the local elections was less about seats shifting between blue, red and yellow but from established political parties to anti-development groups. This is essentially what had taken place at Uttlesford three years previously, when a residents’ group, standing on a largely anti-development platform, including taking a firm stance against the expansion of Stansted Airport, took control of the council. The emerging Local plan was stalled and consequently Uttlesford’s current adopted plan dates back to 2005. In February this year the council was placed in special measures. This immediately raised the concern was that if, like Uttlesford, other local planning authorities (LPAs) fell into Independent control, decision-making and Local plan progression across the country would be threatened.

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