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RSPB Scotland signs petition launched by ‘coalition of concern’ over planning reform   - Monday, August 1, 2005


On behalf of RSPB Scotland, its Director Stuart Housden has signed up to the e-petition launched today by Scottish Environment LINK and the Association of Scottish Community Councils. This powerful coalition, representing over 36 environmental NGOs and 650 Community Councils from across Scotland, has been created as a result their common condemnation of the proposals contained in the Scottish Executive’s planning white paper.

The petition asks the Executive to introduce real rights for people, in particular, a limited third party right of appeal and an opportunity to hold an inquiry into the proposed National Planning Framework. The Executive’s extreme reluctance to introduce third party right of appeal flies in the face of the 86% of respondents who registered their support for it during the consultation last year. In addition the absence of an inquiry or any opportunity to challenge the National Planning Framework leaves local communities with very few options should the Executive decide they must play host to a superquarry, specialised landfill facility or large-scale power station.

Lloyd Austin, Head of Policy Operations for RSPB Scotland said – “The Executive has, so far, chosen to ignore the views of the public. By signing this petition, we are highlighting to the Parliament directly just how many organisations and individuals are concerned about these issues. The National Planning Framework, in particular, amounts to a blank cheque for developers and the Executive to impose unwelcome developments on essentially powerless communities. If the Executive wants to be seen as serious in its commitment to environmental justice, it must re-visit and revise these proposals.”

Visit www.everyonecan.org to sign the petition.