Civic Voice joins Zac Goldsmith MP & Lord True responding to the compromise on permitted development

Responding to the decision from the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP to allow neighbours to oppose inappropriate development, Civic Voice Chair, Paula Ridley, said:

“Civic Voice welcomes the changes that the Government is presenting as an enhancement over the original proposals and we are pleased that neighbours will now be consulted on plans which affect them. Whilst we need to examine the detail within the proposed changes, we fully recognise that the Government has listened to the concerns coming from civic groups across England.”
On 19th April, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government wrote to all MPs outlining his proposed “compromise” following a campaign led by Civic Voice to object to the extension of permitted development rights.

The letter is available via http://www.civicvoice.org.uk/uploads/files/Letter-Extensions-April2013-Final_1.pdf

Zac Goldsmith MP, who spearheaded the objections in the House of Commons, said “I’m sure there will be some details to iron out, but I think this is a sensible approach. Crucially it protects peoples’ right to object, which has always been a red line for me. I am very pleased the Government has listened to concerns.”

Lord True of Richmond who spearheaded objections in the House of Lords said “It is good that Eric Pickles MP has at last stepped in and restored common sense. I am glad that the stand of the Lords has been vindicated and that the right of neighbours to comment on or object to large extensions has been safeguarded. I am very grateful to all those MPs who helped in this battle, to the united voice of local government and to groups such as Civic Voice who worked so hard on this.”

Paula Ridley finished by saying “The civic society movement is not against development, but we believe that this can be best delivered without removing the voice of individuals and reducing the quality of new development. We also need to know; are the new proposals still time-limited? Will the revised arrangements be any quicker at determining planning applications than the current system? How will the environmental and social impact of the proposals be assessed? These are just some of the questions we now need answered. Civic Voice will now communicate with colleagues in the House of Lords and House of Commons to review the detail in the proposed change and will make further announcements in due course.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS
Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We lead and support civic societies as a national movement for quality of place, with people actively improving their towns, cities and villages and promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at http://www.civicvoice.org.uk including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Steve Graham, Director, Civic Voice (m) 079217 67650
Ian Harvey, Co-ordinator, Civic Voice (m) 07877 096968 (t) 0151 708 9920