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Keep planning local

The LGA's open statement on planning.

COVID-19 has demonstrated the incredible spirit of communities as they united to support each other and fight this deadly virus.

As we move forward, it should be they who drive the national recovery with the power and voice to shape their local area so it is somewhere they are proud to live, work and enjoy their time in, and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.

People want their local area to have high-quality affordable homes built in the right places, supported by the right infrastructure, which provides enough schools, promotes greener and more active travel, and tackles climate change.

This can only be achieved through a local planning system with public participation at its heart which enables councils to deliver resilient, prosperous places that meet the needs of their communities. It means beautiful areas and better homes.

We are therefore uniting to urge the UK Government to keep planning in England local.

Any suggestion that planning is a barrier to housebuilding is a myth. Nine in 10 planning applications are approved by councils, while more than a million homes given planning permission in the last decade have not yet been built.

Taking further planning powers away from communities and councils will only deprive them of the ability to define the area they live in and know best and risks giving developers the freedom to ride roughshod over local areas.

If the country is to come back stronger from COVID-19, then local communities must be at the heart of the recovery.

If you would like to add your organisation's support to the list please email [email protected]