Lib Dems challenge Government’s “power grab” on planning

York’s Lib Dems have hit out at Government’s plans to deregulate the planning process, as Executive Member for Economy and Planning is set to discuss impact of Permitted Development Rights at his decision session on Tuesday (27th March).


As a part of an inquiry to examine the Government’s approach to permitted development rights, Councils and stakeholders are asked their views on the current approach and Government’s proposals to further deregulate the planning system.

Permitted development rights risk severely compromising the city’s growth in a period where York is paving the way for recovery and growth. Lack of Section 106 monies, affordable housing provision and democratic oversight within the PDR legislation is of considerable concern to the city’s councillors, as was evident when this was debated at the last Full Council meeting (22nd March).

Recently proposed changes to existing planning legislation could further reduce the democratic oversight and deregulate the planning process failing to address the need for a balance in the planning system to maintain heritage and accountability. Worryingly, this would disrupt the planning process without putting appropriate safeguards in place to guarantee that such changes would see accountability, democratic oversight preserved and the needed and appropriate housing delivered.

The decision session report which will be discussed by Councillor Waller can be viewed here:

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, commented:

“Government is continuing to try to undermine local accountability through ongoing deregulation of the planning system. If they were truly committed to building more houses, they would listen to local authorities who have long called for reforms to be allowed to build more social housing. This includes cheaper loans, access to low-priced public land and the right to keep 100 per cent of the sale price of council homes sold off under Right to Buy to reinvest in new homes.

“As we look to build back better and support our local economy, it’s crucial that local communities are at the heart of our recovery efforts. It should be they who drive the national recovery with the power and voice to shape our local areas and the future of our city. This can only be achieved through a local planning system, which enables councils to deliver resilient, prosperous places that meet the needs of local communities and tackle the major challenges facing our country.”

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