Planning Bill set to bypass community concerns on major infrastructure applications in East Anglia
The Planning Bill is before Parliament again today with the Government trying to gain the support of rebel MPs through a series of changes to the BIll. A coalition of environmental and conservation charities, representing more than five million members, say democracy will be squeezed out of the planning process.
The Green Party in Eastern Region agrees and is warning that there are no changes on offer which would make the Bill acceptable, other than scrapping it, and that if it becomes law, local communities will be bypassed when it comes to decisions on major infrastructure applications. The Bill proposes setting up an appointed Infrastructure Planning Commission.
East Anglia is in the front line for many major proposals over coming years including a second runway at Stansted airport, major new roads, a fleet of waste incinerators, new nuclear powers stations probably at Bradwell and Sizewell and further ports expansion.
Eastern Region Greens have pledged to support communities fighting unsustainable major projects, particularly more nuclear power stations. The Greens are pointing to the danger of "speeding up" decision-making on nuclear facilities which need critical and very thorough safety analysis.
Cllr. Rupert Read, Lead Candidate to become a Green MEP in Eastern Region said
"The Government is pretending that the new arrangements set out in the Planning Bill will make decision making better and more accountable. We dont believe them. Centralising decision making into the hands of an unelected quango is obviously just a mechanism to make sure the Government gets the decisions it wants.
Local communities will be bypassed in the decision-making process with no real ability to change the outcomes. There may well be a need to reform the way public inquiries work, but they should remain as a vital forum for full debate and discussion about the planning merits or otherwise of all major proposals."
For further information:
Eastern Region Green Party Press Office Cllr. James Abbott 01376 584576 mobile 07951 923073
Euro 09 Lead Candidate Cllr. Rupert Read 01603 219294 mobile 07946 459066
For a photograph of Rupert Read that you can use, go to
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-- Rupert Read Green Party Councillor, Norwich, and Lead Candidate for Eastern Region for the Greens in the 2009 Euro-elections. Why not try my new BLOG, 'Rupert's Read': http://rupertsread.blogspot.com See also www.oneworldcolumn.org [for my regular op-ed journalism] I TWITTER. DO YOU? Check out my new frequently-updated, mobile-phone-based MICRO-BLOG, at http://twitter.com/RupertRead