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Public to lose voice on planning applications

The Campaign to Protect Rural England's Cornwall branch (CPRE Cornwall) says local people will soon lose the chance to have their say on planning applications affecting their community. As a result the group offers to help residents fight planning applications which are against local plan policies, threaten protected landscape areas, or are generally inappropriate.

A leading campaign group has warned of its fears for Cornwall because of major changes to the county's planning system in 2009.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England's Cornwall branch (CPRE Cornwall) says local people will soon lose the chance to have their say on planning applications affecting their community.

As a result the group offers to help residents fight planning applications which are against local plan policies, threaten protected landscape areas, or are generally inappropriate.

Spokesman Ted Venn said: "We are entering a period of uncertainty, with the county becoming a unitary authority in 2009 and the consequences of the new Planning Bill that Parliament enacted in November 2008.

"The planning process will change as a result of these two developments. In future, most planning decisions will be made centrally by either the regional development authority or the new unitary authority, instead of being made locally by the currently existing district councils.

"Decisions relating to major infrastructure projects, such as airport expansion and large power stations, will be made by the new Infrastructure Planning... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A leading campaign group has warned of its fears for Cornwall because of major changes to the county's planning system in 2009.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England's Cornwall branch (CPRE Cornwall) says local people will soon lose the chance to have their say on planning applications affecting their community.

As a result the group offers to help residents fight planning applications which are against local plan policies, threaten protected landscape areas, or are generally inappropriate.

Spokesman Ted Venn said: "We are entering a period of uncertainty, with the county becoming a unitary authority in 2009 and the consequences of the new Planning Bill that Parliament enacted in November 2008.

"The planning process will change as a result of these two developments. In future, most planning decisions will be made centrally by either the regional development authority or the new unitary authority, instead of being made locally by the currently existing district councils.

"Decisions relating to major infrastructure projects, such as airport expansion and large power stations, will be made by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission.

"These developments threaten to take local consultation and influence away from local communities, as well as being advantageous to developers.

"Furthermore, there is a suggestion that planning applications will not in future be published in local newspapers, making it difficult for most people to be aware of proposals, and as a result reducing the opportunities to object."

CPRE Cornwall is also concerned about the number of homes central government wants to see built in the county, and the proliferation of windfarms in Cornwall.

However, Mr Venn said: "Despite its reluctance to accept more wind farms, CPRE Cornwall does support more environmentally friendly forms of renewable energy, such as solar power, wave power and tidal power.

"Indeed, wave and tidal power can utilise the potential that is afforded by Cornwall's long coastline, and at the same time be more or less invisible.

"But the Cornish landscape is important for tourism and for the health of the nation. It would be dreadful if Cornwall's character changed from that which we all love and enjoy to that of urbanisation and industrialisation.

"Change has to be accepted, but not at any cost."

CPRE Cornwall says it can help people to fight planning objections by offering advice, writing letters of objection to the relevant planning authority, and liaising with other relevant groups.

Mr Venn said: "The rural environment is important and should be cherished. Once destroyed, it's gone forever.

"We want to help local people to keep change acceptable and protect the best asset that Cornwall possesses."

Mr Venn can be contacted in writing at The Old Farmhouse, Tregowris, St Keverne, Cornwall TR12 6PT, by email at tedvenn@btinternet.com or by phone on 01326 281 435.

To find out more see the group's website www.cprecornwall.org.uk


Source: http://www.thisiscornwall.c...

JAN 5 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18480-public-to-lose-voice-on-planning-applications
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