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Tory councillors oppose government planning reforms

16 Sep 20 Central government plans to sweep away established planning laws to accelerate housing development across the country are not going down with local councillors.

Planning reform spells trouble in town halls (this one is Kendal's)
Planning reform spells trouble in town halls (this one is Kendal's)

New research reveals that 78% of democratically-elected local representatives think that the proposed reforms to the planning system will make planning less democratic.

Even 61% of Conservative councillors hold this view, the survey showed.

The poll was conducted by Savanta ComRes report on behalf of planning lobbyist BECG.

It also found that 64% of councillors believe the majority of consultation should take place when considering individual planning applications, rather than when making overall local plans. This is one of the key changes that the government is looking to make.

However, the councillors are not against change per se; 65% of the councillors surveyed said that more land should be added to the Green Belt.

Andrew Howard, managing director of BECG, said: “This report highlights the huge challenges facing the government’s planning reforms. There is significant scepticism amongst Conservative councillors, and the government will have to put in some serious spade work to persuade their local government colleagues to embrace these changes, which many see as eroding local democratic control of planning.”

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