Sick of seeing Falmouth planning decisions overturned by centralised bodies with no local knowledge, one woman has launched a campaign to change the "undemocratic" planning process.

Kathryn Philpott has been spurred on to launch her petition, 'Give Our Councils The Power To Make A Decision,' after plans for Bosvale in Falmouth went to appeal at the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, and plans for 94 homes at Poolfield in Budock were granted on appeal. Both had been refused permission by Cornwall Council following objections from Falmouth Town Council.

She said: "I think the most important thing I have realised is that our council has no real authority.

"Right through the county people are up in arms because their local councillors have got no power to stop building on inappropriate places.

"An issue for everyone here is that they have just passed out of county permission to build on the fields leading up to Budock Church. A stunningly beautiful area.

"It was taken off our council and taken out of county for the decision."

She added: "Can someone tell me why we have a democratic vote to elect our counsellors to work on our behalf, protecting our county, as every time a planning issue arises and is turned down it immediately goes out of our county to a person or persons that know nothing about the wishes of the general public.

"We seem to have a democracy that is ill equipped to stand up for us. In fact it is very undemocratic to take a decision of this magnitude and sweep over our local council rendering them powerless."

Kathryn has also said that having a Neighbourhood Plan in place would prevent developers "building everywhere" - a process which is already underway.

She is concerned that current developments pay no heed to problems like drainage and sewage, or to local amenity and open space.

But she is also worried that developers are rushing to get their planning applications in now, before Falmouth's Neighbourhood Plan comes into effect, with designated areas for housing or other development, as well as areas that cannot be built on.

She said: "People are frantically putting their applications in because they want to get in before the Neighbourhood Plan comes into place, because that will be the end of this building."

Kathryn wants appeals to go back to Cornwall Council for reconsideration rather than to the Planning Inspectorate, and is petitioning the government to give local councils the final say on planning decisions, not just in Cornwall but nationwide.

She needs 100,000 signatures if she is to hope to have the issue debated in parliament, and so needs her petition to circulate much further than Falmouth, although she has started a physical petition at Boslowick Garage for those without access to the internet.

She said: "Now is he time if people want to act. Now is their chance, but they have got to stand up and say, it's people power."

To sign the petition go to :