Civic Voice highlights concerns in draft response to planning white paper

Removal of the opportunity to comment on planning applications, the feeling that the proposals focus on growth over place-making and the setting of arbitrary statutory timetables before the exact nature of the new system are known, are just some of the concerns raised by Civic Voice in our response to the Government's planning reforms.

Through our extensive consultation with the Civic Society movement, our membership made it clear that while we welcome some of the proposals, the White Paper raises so many questions that we cannot yet give it our support. Led by Sarah James, and supported by a working group, our work involved 17 online events, engaged over 1500 individuals, received survey responses from 768 individuals. At some stage during the past six-weeks, 83% of Civic Voice members participated in our consultation. We have tried our best to ensure our response truly reflected the concerns of communities across England.

Our response to the consultation can be accessed here, but, for clarity, we wish to highlight three key points from our response:

  • We welcome the opportunity for earlier and more meaningful engagement, but not at the expense of reducing the right for communities to make representations at a later stage.
  • Best in class engagement means allowing sufficient time and providing adequate resources to facilitate a meaningful role for the community to engage
  • Let’s develop the digital but not to replace the physical.

Civic Voice has drawn on 18 months worth of work and a consultation with our members for our response to Planning for the Future, including our manifesto from 2019.

Read the Civic Voice response to the Planning White Paper here.