Give parishes a veto on planning matters

The increasingly bad tempered dialogue of the deaf between the Planning Authority and their constituents continues unabated in the columns of your newspaper.

The present arrangements offer no resolution no matter how much consultation takes place because the planning concerns itself with “predict and provide” at District level within the confines of planning law and current government policy whilst the opposition is purely parochial.

In order to take the deafness out of the dialogue there must be a means of fulfilling housing need in the Dales whilst addressing the parochial issues.

As it happens predict and provide may be a good way to plan the building of, say, primary schools but not housing which has far too many variables.

The planning authority needs to give right of veto at town and parish council level to any housing development of, say, more than five houses and accept a town or parish council recommendation that a particular piece of greenbelt can be de-designated.

Many towns and villages would of course set their face against any development but in many, provided they felt the development was suitable and the planing gain equitable, the concerns of the majority of the residents to maintain the shop, school and pub and provide housing for their adult children would lead to approval of developments outside the existing settlement boundary which is currently greenbelt but not very green.

The planning authority would thus have communities coming forward with developers to champion new housing in their areas, the very opposite of what is happening at present. Since people don’t ask for what they don’t need and Developers don’t propose developments for which they believe there is no prospect of sale, this will provide a more accurate accommodation to housing need than predict and provide. There will always remain a vociferous minority but pushing the decision to the parish level reveals them to be just that, a minority.

Variants of this work perfectly well in Europe.

Peter Hartill