Civic Voice responds to latest planning announcements
Civic Voice – the national organisation for the civic movement - today responded to the Government’s planning proposals published last week.
Paula Ridley, Chair said “For the past four days the country has been able to enjoy visits to properties and places not normally available to be seen. One million people use Heritage Open Days to learn more about the places where they live. We are concerned that after an extensive debate and a thorough review of the planning system over the past year, leading to the introduction of the new National Planning Policy Framework, the Government has chosen to make further changes on an ad-hoc basis to the system which may well result in damaging not just the green belt, but other places and settings of our most attractive buildings, ancient and modern. We welcome the increased investment in housing and infrastructure and we recognise the need to get the economy moving, but we think that short-term measures to rush proposals through the planning system will be counter-productive”.
Since its formation in 2010, Civic Voice has been campaigning for a fairer planning system that balances economic, environmental and social issues more equally in order for communities to be able to secure the development that meets their needs. Civic Voice reject the notion that good planning is a brake on the economy. On the contrary the best designed places are also the most economically successful. The barrier to house building arises from borrowing restrictions and economic uncertainty, not planning. Investors need certainty and introducing uncertainty through sudden changes to planning has negative consequences.
Civic Voice’s primary concern is for “everyday England” – the local neighbourhoods, buildings, town centres and views of daily life for the vast majority of people. Their interest in this is proved time and again in their interest and involvement not just in Heritage Open Days, but in the places where they live. The moratorium on planning consent on extensions will be of little economic gain but has the potential to create conflicts between neighbours and destroy any notion of the Big Society.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to 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. 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.