Planning system overhauled by Localism Bill.

The Government published its eagerly anticipated Localism Bill on Monday of this week.  The Bill contains measures to overhaul the planning system and give local people more influence over planning decisions.  Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the Bill was a 'ground-breaking shift' which would overturn 'decades of central government control'.

The Bill is another step in the Government's Big Society agenda and gives more power for local people to overrule planning decisions and decide where new homes should go.  Mr Pickles said: "It is the centrepiece of what this government is trying to do to fundamentally shake up the balance of power in this country.  For too long, everything has been controlled from the centre - look where it's got us."

However President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), whilst welcoming the Bill, warned that 'localism' would have its pitfalls.  " Radical proposals for neighbourhood planning seem to assume that economic growth and housing delivery will just happen if communities are given the opportunity to make decisions for themselves."

He went on to say " “However, there is an inherent tension between the concept of ‘localism’ and ‘providing investor certainty’ which may lead to communities making decisions on what they want or don’t want, without taking into account what they actually need in the long-term to remain sustainable.”

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