Press release issued on behalf of:
CPRE, the Civic Trust, Environmental Law Foundation, FOE, ROOM, RSPB, TCPA and WWF-UK

01/02 2.1.02

Call for Justice for all in Planning

‘The Government is missing a crucial chance to right a fundamental wrong at the heart of the planning system by rejecting calls to give the public similar rights to developers to challenge planning decisions.’{1}

This will be the warning from CPRE’s Planning Officer, Julie Stainton, at the launch{2} of a major report at the Law Society in London today. Undertaken by an independent team of respected academics, consultants and legal experts in the field of planning, the report{3} explores the case for ‘third party rights of appeal’{4}. The research was funded by a broad alliance of environmental and amenity groups{5}, representing nearly two million people in the UK.

The report argues forcefully that, in certain circumstances, people should be able to appeal to the Secretary of State against their council’s grant of planning permission for a development they oppose.{6}

At today’s launch, the RSPB’s Head of Planning and Regional Policy, Mark Southgate, will say:

‘The announcement of the Planning Green Paper promised “a faster, fairer planning system”.{7} We welcome the Government’s proposals for greater openness but none of these changes provides the vital safeguards which a form of public right of appeal would deliver.’

Julie Stainton will add:

‘The Government is failing to grasp this once-in- fifty-years opportunity to remove a basic injustice.{8} This undermines the Government’s avowed commitment to give local people real influence in the planning decisions which shape their environment.’

Introducing a limited third party right of appeal in planning represents the single most effective way that the Government could:

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1. Currently, a developer may appeal against refusal of planning permission, but members of the public have no right to appeal against the grant of permission – no matter how strong their case.

2. The launch will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, 9 January 2002 at the Law Society, Chancery Lane, London WC2.

3. Third Party Rights of Appeal in Planning was produced by Green Balance, Leigh Day & Co Solicitors, John Popham and Professor Michael Purdue and is available, priced 10.00, from CPRE Publications, Warwick House, 25 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0PP; telephone: 020 7976 6433; fax: 020 7976 6373; email: Copies of the report’s executive summary are available free on request from the same address.

4. A planning authority is the ‘first party’ in the planning system from whom an applicant (the ‘second party’) seeks planning permission. All other members of the community are known as ‘third parties’ to consideration of the application.

5. CPRE, the Civic Trust, the Environmental Law Foundation, Friends of the Earth, ROOM (the National Council for Housing and Planning), RSPB, TCPA (Town and Country Planning Association) and WWF-UK.

6. The report proposes that there should be a public right of appeal against approval of planning applications where:

7. DTLR News Release 537, 12 December 2001.

8. Last month’s Planning Green Paper, Planning: delivering a fundamental change, explicitly rejected a third party right of appeal (paragraph 6.22).

9. At the launch of the Planning Green Paper, the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Byers MP, said ‘We want a planning system in which the values of the whole community are allowed to prosper and develop… The current system does not allow that…’ DTLR News Release 537, 12 December 2001.

10. Stephen Byers MP, DTLR News Release 537, 12 December 2001.

11. Stephen Byers MP, DTLR News Release 537, 12 December 2001.

Press Release INDEX

Published on this Web site: 9 January 2002

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