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New Coalition asks Parliament to get real on planning   - Monday, August 1, 2005


Scottish Environment Link has joined forces with the Association of Scottish Community Councils to fire a broadside against the Executive’s planning white paper.

Together, they have launched a petition to the Parliament calling for the introduction of a limited third party right of appeal within the planning system – rather thanthe feeble promise of more opportunities to express an opinion offered by the Executive.

The petition also insists that all planning decisions, especially those related to the proposed National Planning Framework, must be open to challenge and public inquiry. The two groups will be working throughout the summer to gather as many signatories as possible before the issue goes back to Parliament in the autumn.

On launching the petition, Anne McCall, Convener of Scottish Environment LINK’s planning task force said - “The white paper is a mess. The new system would allow people to express their view of a planning proposal - but give no real weight to their opinion. It would still be the case that the developer had rights of appeal, where objectors would be left almost powerless. The opportunity to put some fairness and balance into planning is being thrown away.”

DouglasMurray of the Association of Scottish Community Councils said – “'The ASCC position is simple. Community Councils want stronger powers for their communities and accountability from both local and national government. The White Paper does not deliver on either nor does it allow communities sufficient safeguards on decisions made against their wishes or even where the Local Authority makes an error. The Scottish Parliament has the power to make these changes, and this petition gives notice of our intentions.'

Visit www.everyonecan.org to sign the petition.