True democracy in planning means listening to everyone - not just objectors

Paul Smith CROP

Reforming the planning system could finally broaden the range of people who respond to public consultations, argues Paul Smith

Sometimes, people object to new developments for what seem the strangest reasons. In July, a local councillor in Hampshire objected to building new homes on a tyre dump because of its countryside location.

Similarly, there is an ongoing dispute in Brighton over whether new homes should be built on a former gas works site, with objectors simultaneously claiming the homes should be for key workers and that the site can’t be made safe to live on.

Earlier this month, an application for a retirement village in Surrey was refused permission in part because older people were said to add little to the vitality of the town centre.

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