Daniel Zeichner MP has warned local people risk being gagged from speaking out against inappropriate developments in the city as he voted in the House of Commons to block the so called Developers’ Charter.
The Government plan to hand control over of planning decisions to developers using a raft of new measures announced Queen’s Speech.
The Government’s proposed reforms of the planning system will remove powers from elected local representatives and hand them to Whitehall-appointed boards of developers.
Boards will oversee a new zonal system that allows developers to build at will in areas designated for growth. Communities will be consulted only in the development of five-yearly local plans and will be not be able to intervene in individual planning applications.
These plans come hot in the heels of changes to the Permitted Development system pushed through by ministers in 2020. This bypasses the normal council system and allows commercial buildings to be converted into super small flats including the controversial Cambridge 17 metre square ones.
Daniel Zeichner MP said:
“I challenged the planning minister on how environmental net gain, as outlined in the Government’s Environment Bill, can be secured under their proposals. He had no answer. What we do know is these plans take control away from local people but there are huge dangers if you build, build, build without local consent. Good development can only happen when developers and communities work together, but the Developers Charter hands control to developers in what looks like payback for their massive increase in donations to the Conservative Party.”