Planning Bill: the potential for corruption

” … Labour’s shadow planning minister Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “I cannot believe that the government are serious about this. I know that they tend to carry out pilots, but they must realise that the potential for this mechanism to generate a degree of corruption and totally inappropriate conflicts of interest is probably endless. These new clauses need to be subjected to a degree of scrutiny that will not be possible this evening.”

She said that ministers’ decision to table the amendment late in the bill’s passage through Parliament meant that it has “not been possible for the planning agencies that will be affected by the changes to have a say or to have any input into the process. That is quite frankly disgraceful, because these will be huge changes to the planning system”.

Communities and local government select committee chair Clive Betts said that the new clause is “effectively about the privatisation of the planning service. That is what it potentially amounts to after pilots have been brought in”.

He said: “Let me explore what that might mean. Does it mean that an individual or organisation will be free to shop around for whichever alternative provider they think can give them the best chance of getting a planning application accepted? Will they be able to look at the track record of providers around the country?”

Betts added: “My worry here is that someone parachuted in from outside, with no knowledge of an area but a track record of dealing with applications quickly, may not be as sensitive to the needs of a local community.

“If I was a local MP in an area with particular planning pressures and had concerns about getting those decisions right, I would start to be very worried about the scenario that is developing.”

One thought on “Planning Bill: the potential for corruption

  1. I can’t decide which I am more angry about…

    The complete and utter disregard for localism and democracy in these proposals; or
    The complete and utter lack of understanding about the need for checks and balances in any system; or
    The absolute ignorance that planning applications are more than just yes / no for building on a plot and involve a LOT of other factors; or
    The lack of consultation with campaign groups, representative bodies etc. who could have pointed out the stupidities

    For me this is second only to TTIP … oh come to think of it third only to TTIP and the cancelled benefits cuts … or perhaps fourth only to TTIP, benefit cuts and fracking in National Parks and AONBs … though actually there are probably several more that are up there with this.

    Has Cameron been taking lessons from Diviani? (Unfortunately The Div will probably see this as a compliment.)


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