We have written to Robert Halfon MP in advance of the Parliamentary debate on the Planning White paper that will take place on Thursday 8th October.

The letter is given below and contains a link to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) briefing on the White Paper.

CPRE is also running a petition on the proposals calling on the government to drop the plans to deregulate planning and to give communities the power to shape their future.  You can see the petition and sign it here: https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/66589/petition/

The Civic Society is preparing a detailed response to the White Paper and you can see our overall views with links to the proposals in a previous post here: http://www.harlowcivicsociety.org.uk/consultation-on-radical-changes-to-planning-system/


As Secretary of Harlow Civic Society, I am writing to you today to share the concerns of our committee about the proposals set out by the government in its recent ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper and ‘Changes to the current planning system’ paper, both of which are out for consultation.  

 Our committee are concerned that these proposals would:

1. Reduce local democracy in the planning system 

2. Fail to deliver high-quality homes that people can afford to live in 

3. Lead to the loss of countryside and accessible green spaces 

Harlow Civic Society is a member of CPRE, the countryside charity, and believes that a fit-for-purpose planning system is an essential component of sustainable development, including community cohesion and a healthy environment. The right development has the potential to deliver social equity and sustainable economic growth, as well as meeting our climate and ecological ambitions. 

We hope very much that you will find the time to read the briefing written by CPRE outlining why these proposals are a problem here: www.cpre.org.uk/CPRE-PWP_briefing-Sept-2020

We are confident that you are sympathetic to the problems caused by undesirable consequences that have been inflicted on Harlow as the result of existing relaxations to planning regulations.  We therefore hope that you will use your best efforts to raise some of these concerns in forthcoming discussions and debates in Parliament and elsewhere in order to mitigate some of the possibly unintended consequences of the proposals.

With best wishes, 
Isobel Urquhart
Secretary:  Harlow Civic Society.

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