• Out of control planning inspectors?

    9th March 2013 | News | Claire
  • In this week’s edition of the Local Government’s Association First, which is a fortnightly newsletter sent to all district and county councillors, star letter of the week is penned by a conservative councillor in Wiltshire, who doesn’t seem to understand that the planning inspectorate – the government’s body that rules on appeal against planning refusals – is simply acting on government orders.

    Instead, Cllr Doyle, who seems to think that the National Planning Policy Framework was set up to localise planning decision making (?!) complains that planning inspectorates are ignoring localism and have become a law unto themselves by overturning decisions that were made by local authorities.

    He claims that his concerns are shared by many and he is so angry that he has even started up an e-petition calling for a review of the inspectorate’s powers!

    I hear this time and time again – conservative MPs and councillors refusing point blank to take responsibility for what their government has put in train.  They disassociate themselves with the bad news and blame the people who are acting on their orders.

    You may remember even planning minister, Mr Boles did this when Feniton’s MP, Neil Parish, asked him why an appeal was allowed in the village last year for 50 houses.  Unsurprisingly, the planning inspectorate advised that they were just following the rules of the National Planning Policy Framework!

    How convenient it is to be able to blame the people you pay to implement your decisions.

    Councillors and ministers can’t pretend for ever though, because people are not as foolish as they like to believe.

    Here is the letter – http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/first-letters/-/journal_content/56/10171/3906531/NEWS-TEMPLATE