National planning campaigners month of action

“A national group representing community groups throughout England launches its “Month of Action” in April with a big rally in Manchester on April 1st.

CoVoP, which represents more than 100 campaigning groups, was formed to protect green spaces perceived to be under threat throughout the country.
Last year CoVoP members held a “Day of Action” but this year April has been designated the “Month of Action”.

Affiliated groups throughout England will be participating in various activities and the launch event on April 1st will be in Manchester. It is expected that thousands will attend a rally organised by the Save Greater Manchester Greenbelt alliance.

Cheryl Tyler, Chairman of Community Voice on Planning (CoVoP), attacked the long-awaited white paper, “Fixing Our Broken Housing Market” as short on detail and soft on developers.

“It is very disappointing that having waited so long for a sensible document this falls far short of our hoped-for expectations. It does not address the fundamental issues people up and down the country are experiencing, leaving them vulnerable to unscrupulous developers”. She added that “members are extremely frustrated” by the lack of understanding of the concerns of communities”.

These issues include:

• Local Plans failing to take into account empty properties sometimes abandoned for years that could be put back into use.
• Permissions being granted on appeal for greenfield sites outside of local plans
• Not doing enough for urban regeneration but allowing green fields and the greenbelt to be developed preferentially.

Cheryl Tyler says “The government must listen to the voice of the people and realise that the National Planning Policy Framework requires urgent reform to rebalance the needs of communities and the interests of developers”.

For more information about CoVoP: http://www.covop.org”