Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Planning Board Changes Defeated!

Local people will still be able to call planning applications before Bournemouth’s Planning Board thanks Bournemouth’s Conservative Councillors.

Proposed changes to the way in which planning applications are considered by the Planning Board were successfully amended at a meeting of Bournemouth Borough Council last night.

I moved the motion to make sure the changed procedures still allowed residents to call planning decisions in front of the Planning Board by way of writing letters of objection.

People must feel that they have the ability to present their case. Where residents attend and witness the debate at Planning Board, the likelihood of their understanding a decision that goes against them and the reasons behind it are greatly increased.

To restrict access to the process disenfranchises our residents further from a process they already often feel is remote. It’s unfair, undemocratic and unnecessary.

The motion was seconded by Phil Stanley Watts (Boscombe W) who was concerned about peoples’ perception of the process: “The residents of my ward often feel powerless to object to planning applications they don’t like. To exclude them further would increase their suspiscion of the planning process”, he said.

Mark Anderson, Co-Chairman of the Queen’s Park and Charminster Forum was delighted that the proposed changes had been amended: “This stops people in our area being disenfranchised. I very much welcome the fact that the Council has seen sense over this issue.”

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