Planning white paper should not be rushed through parliament, says Pontefract Civic Society chair

The rush by the national government to see the planning white paper through Parliament in a short period of time without proper scrutiny is a "developers charter", said the chair of Pontefract Civic Society Paul Cartwright.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 5:12 pm
Paul Cartwright, chair of Pontefract Civic Society.
Paul Cartwright, chair of Pontefract Civic Society.

Under new plans, which were announced last summer, councils in England would have to designate all land in their area as “protected”, for “renewal”, or for “growth”.

Mr Cartwright said the civic society supported the need for a review of the planning system but not at the expense of community engagement or some protection for conservation areas, the 'high street', and green belt

He added: “Our places need to retain their own unique identity, and open spaces should be protected for all to enjoy, especially with heightened focus on climate change, walking, cycling, and home working.

“We need to ensure that farming land between settlements remains to avoid concreting over all the surrounding land.”

The civic society has enlisted the help of Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper who has agreed to join the all party parliamentary group for civic societies.

“Mr Cartwright said: “With the Pontefract Masterplan in place, which we have been engaged with from before that process started, we have a suitable framework to see the town centre enhanced, with the right development in the right place, but that simply covers the town centre, and not the suburbs.

“Paramount is that our towns and villages are for people to live and work, yet placemaking appears to be completely ignored in the rush to pass planning applications quickly before the public realise.

“Much of the control appears to move away from local people, away from local authorities where additional resources are needed in planning and conservation teams in Wakefield Council.”