Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Planning Bill debate on 2nd June

Send them a letter - doubt if they will read it though

The Planning Bill has finished in Committee, and will be debated on the 2nd June before moving on to the Lords.

What's wrong with the Planning Bill

The Planning Bill contains the Government's proposals for reform of the planning system. These proposals will mean:

  • Less say
    No meaningful right to be heard in person at inquiries.
  • Less democracy
    No ministerial accountability for decisions.
  • No mention of climate change
    Major new developments like power stations don't have to take climate change into account.

This could mean that big new developments happen near you, and your voice will not be heard.

What happens next

  • Report Stage
    MPs will debate further changes to the Bill in Parliament on the 2nd of June
  • House of Lords
    The Bill goes to the Lords and they discuss changes in Committee
  • Final reading

During the report stage in Parliament, MPs will debate the amendments that have been tabled on the Bill. We need to lobby MPs to get the climate change amendment and a proper right to be heard amendment included in the Bill.

Amendments are debated and then voted upon, so it is very important that your MP is aware of your concern.

There is still time for you to ask your MP to support these crucial amendments that will get climate change and rights included in the Planning Bill.

Your MP could be influential in this debate - make sure they know it is important that they take this action for climate change.

If the Planning Bill becomes law, in its current state, opposition to large projects such as nuclear power stations or new motorways will become far more difficult. We will effectively lose our right to be heard at hearings. Opposition will take the form of written evidence only and apart from an "open floor" session, where the developers need not be present, there will be no other means to oppose. It seems that we will be very much distanced from any source of information or any voice loud enough to be heard! Once a large project has been finalized and executed by an "Infrastructure Planning Commission", an un-elected body with hitherto unknown powers, the IPC will be above Acts of Parliament.

The IPC is not even answerable to the relevant ministers! Friends of the Earth demands that the Bill should:

a.. Take climate change into account

b.. Ensure that the General Public have a right to be heard at enquiries

c.. That Ministers remain accountable for decisions

You can get more information by visiting the Friends of the Earth site here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2nd June is tax freedom day. Its on this day you stop working for the tax collectors and get to keep your money. Tax freedom day arrives later each year. We must get these crooks out of Westminister