South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) has written to the Government stating strong objections to several proposed reforms to the current planning system.
The Government’s proposed changes were outlined in the Planning for the Future white paper.
The council sent a letter to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 29th October detailing its concerns and objections to the proposals.
Cllr Anne-Marie Simpson, cabinet member for planning at SODC, said: “Whilst we welcome some of the proposals, such as the greater use of digital technology to improve the efficiency of the planning process, we have significant concerns that much of what is proposed would weaken, not improve, the current system.”
Cllr Simpson added “We are especially concerned that the proposed new system reduces opportunities for democratically elected local councillors and residents to comment on planning proposals that directly affect them. I am also very concerned by the lack of ambition to strengthen the many important environmental protections that form part of the existing planning system, and the lack of clarity from Government on the future of Neighbourhood Plans, which many residents in South Oxfordshire have spent time and resources helping to develop.”
Read the council’s letter here.