Mike Vickers' Blog

February 26, 2019

Planning Democracy

Filed under: Planning, Politics, Scotland — derryvickers @ 9:03 am

I went to the Annual Gathering of PD last evening 26/02/19.  PD has been going for 10 years.  Why have I not come across them before, why indeed did I get an invite. I am glad I did.

Find out more on Planning Democracy (PD) at http://www.planningdemocracy.org.uk/

A few points:

  • Planning is holistic, it sets the framework for all we do. It’s about the NHS, it’s about health, I could have added its about education.  It’s no wonder it dominates the discuss at the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council
  • Clare Symonds, the chair and leader, in her introduction came out with all the issues we know about
    • Other speakers: Andy Inch (Sheffield University), Euan Leitch (Edinburgh University Historic  Architecture), Daya Feldwick (Community Worker)
    • Held at Methodist Church Nicholson Square Edinburgh
      • Nice place – for me a good hearing loop
  • For the Planners, People are the Problem
  • More contentious to me ‘Government mistrust the People’
  • Planning is currently Market Led – this must change
  • But the Market, House Developers, has been central to SG going for the New Planning Bill now at its 2 Second Reading
    • Moving to Stage 3
  • The new bill is not right (I missed some of the reasons but it’s far too fussy)
    • Insufficient Planners to implement
    • Strategy Zones may be useful. But impact on Land Prices
    • May be better to start again
  • Council buy land at the then market price before speculators move in
  • The Skeffington Report of 50 years ago still points the way
  • Planning is to be Front Loaded but then recrimination when the Planners come up with something else
  • Local Place Plans – OK – but favouring the privileged towns
  • Main Thrust of PG is ERA, Equal Right of Appeal
    • The right for you and me to get a hearing when Builders appeal to the Government that their application has been refused by the Council.
    • PD is getting listened too after endless government engagement and deputations
  • Comments
    • Planning is Political
    • Corruption exists
    • There needs to much more constructive engagement
  • Tail Thought from Clare Symonds.  All aspects of planning are a long haul and endlessly tiring.  I’m sure John Kelly would agree!

PS I do wonder how we finished up with such attractive places as York, Chester and Edinburgh before Planning existed!

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