A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy


The information on this blog is not intended to be advice, legal or otherwise. You should not rely on it and I do not accept liability in connection with it. If you do have a planning law question on which you would like advice, seek legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor. Specific advice should be sought for specific problems.

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We want a say

Visiting my local market town on Saturday I stopped to look at a large map of the town – about twelve feet by twelve feet – spread out on the pavement as part of the election campaign for Thursday’s local elections.  It particularly attracted my attention because was obviously about planning and was headed “Your chance to say no”.  There was a good crowd around it.

Of course the inevitable happened and someone campaigning on the candidate’s behalf came over to bend my ear.  But what was interesting was her opening line – “we just want to have a say” in a proposal for “1,000s of new houses”.

Well I suppose it is her misfortune to have chosen me. I pointed out that the system allows for a considerable say and asked if she had taken advantage of it.  Which brought the surprising reply, “No”.

Well we had an amiable conversation and I explained the local plan system (to flickers of recognition) but at the core, the complaint was not really just “no say” but about the development scheme itself – “we don’t like the scheme”.

In fairness to the actual candidate, who is an independent with considerable and admirable courage,  the written material recognised the local plan system but challenged the local council’s apparent re-allocation of considerable numbers of houses.  What is sad about this is the misrepresentation to voters, and misunderstanding of the system in which – as I have blogged before – public consultation and involvement has been at its heart since 1948.

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