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1500 Parish Councils call for new powers on large developments

Author: Steve Shaw

Published on Aug 16, 2011

1500 Parish Councils call for new powers on large developments

16 August 2011

Local Works is calling on the government to agree to implement a proposal made under the Sustainable Communities Act that is all about why the campaign for the Act was originally started - ending 'Ghost Town Britain' and empowering local people.

The proposal was made under the Sustainable Communities Act by Leiston Town Council in Suffolk and the Suffolk Association of Local Councils in June. If agreed by the government it would apply nationally. 1,500 Town and Parish Councils across the country have formally given their support to the proposal (view them here).

The Proposal

The proposal is a modest and reasonable suggestion for the government to amend planning guidance in a way that would help locally elected decision makers. In summary, the proposal is to require applicants of major developments to:

- attend a meeting of the local Town or Parish Council, or of a duly called Town Meeting, to answer questions on the application for development; and

- fund the council or duly called town meeting to commission an independent report on the application and critique of any reports that the applicant has submitted in support of the application for development.

This would help ensure local elected representatives could make their decision on whether an application should go ahead based on the best evidence.

Local Works has published an action briefing for MPs which contains the full proposal and rationale. View it here.