Planning changes prompt letter to PM
8:20am Monday 1st October 2012 in News
Fears that the “historic environment of villages and towns” will be “destroyed” by new planning rules have prompted one woman to write to Prime Minister David Cameron.
The letter has been sent by Sue Toft-Hunt after she attended last Thursday’s meeting of Porthleven Town Council.
At the meeting there was a discussion over the government’s aim to relax planning regulations, to make it easier for development and therefore boost the economy.
However, Mrs Toft-Hunt believes it could ruin historic areas.
She told the Packet: “I am very concerned about the way planning regulations have been relaxed by the government and implemented by Cornwall Council without the promised local controls.”
She is asking that “the balance be redressed” before places were destroyed, adding that while the problem had become evident in Porthleven she believed it would be widespread.
In her letter to Mr Cameron, Mrs Toft-Hunt has written: “I have just attended a town council meeting in Porthleven, Cornwall.
“The community is justly proud of the historic town and also aware that its tourist trade and local economy is largely dependent on it being able to offer a very special environment.
“The town council and the community it strives to represent were extremely frustrated at the council meeting to find that the recent changes in planning, combined with recent planning appeal decisions, have driven great holes in its conservation strategy and its ability to preserve and maintain the area for the benefit of all.
“While the town council voted for refusal on some locally contentious applications, it was clear that the planners at County Hall will be granting permission under the new rules.
“In this issue we are not considering the large scale development of swathes of green belt which have hit the headlines but a series of individual changes that cumulatively have large impact locally, and a local community that feels powerless to take the proper local decisions.”
She has asked Mr Cameron to direct his ministers to ensure there was “better balance” in the planning system and deliver promised local controls “urgently,” before “irreversible damage” was done.