Don’t sacrifice local needs with planning short cuts – The Yorkshire Post says

BY TAKING an over-simplistic approach to planning, the Government’s well-intended reforms risk making a mockery of local decision-making.

The Government has unveiled reforms to speed up the planning process.

Contrary to the impression given by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, most small-scale applications are dealt with promptly by local councillors.

And where delays take place, it is, invariably, because there are issues of contention about a proposed scheme’s impact on the community in question.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

As such, it is ironic that Mr Jenrick appears to be questioning the role of councils when he is also the Cabinet minister in charge of local devolution. He cannot have it both ways.

Robert Jenrick, the Housing and Communities Secretary. is no stranger to political controversy.

His approach also appears to leave the major developers in the driving seat – a state of affairs that the Minister should have been avoiding following past errors of judgement that would have cost him his Cabinet job in previous eras.

After all, details do matter and it is in the public interest for significant applications to meet certain criteria before they’re improved.

This includes energy efficiency, flood-proofing, provision of high-speed broadband and ensuring that existing services, like schools and GP surgeries, have sufficient scope to accommodate additional families.

Expenses – even inconveniences – that will not find favour with the major developers who are not renowned for their altruism, they are, nevertheless, safeguards that need to be put in place to ensure new homes are fit for the future. On this, it is already plain to see that Mr Jenrick’s policy foundations need to be much stronger.

Do the Government's planning reforms unfairly favour major developers?

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson