York Green Party has submitted response to government consultation on major overhaul of the planning system
The government’s white paper on planning has been out for consultation since August and the deadline is at the end of October.
York Green Party has responded to this. ‘We believe that planning in the 21st century must be first and foremost about our response to the climate emergency’, says Tom Franklin, Chair of York Green Party. The white paper does not go anywhere near far enough in this direction.
Crucially, the white paper fails to address the need for new developments to be carbon neutral; generate renewable energy; minimise travel for work, school, shopping and other activities; ensure that active transport and local transport are planned in from the outset; and take care of the environment in terms of wildlife habitats and green spaces which can additionally benefit the mental health of residents. It also fails to recognise the importance of retrofitting our current housing stock which has the potential to reduce our carbon emissions, lessen fuel poverty, and enable people to live in comfort and dignity.
‘Planning is also an important aspect of local democracy, allowing local residents to have a meaningful say over their built environment’, says Denise Craghill , Green Party Councilor for Guildhall Ward. The white paper removes significant levels of local control, centralising decision-making, allowing permitted development without any democratic accountability across a much wider range of developments than before. This does not support the local approach the Green Party supports. ‘The existing planning system may not be perfect but a key principle that we must retain is local decision making that responds appropriately to local circumstances’ Denise continues. York is attractive for residents and tourists alike because of its historic setting and appearance. Uncontrolled developments designed to maximise profits for large developers could undermine that and impact upon the local economy.