The 2007 Government Planning White Paper was published yesterday. Of particular concern to me was the impact that tinkering with the planning system may have on our environment, town centre economies and not to mention the architecture of our country.
I found the paper lacking in any real content, it includes a lot of nice words about sustainable communities and involving communities, yet fails to outline exactly how this will work. Of major concern to me is the replacement of the 'Supermarket Needs Test' with an impact test, yet I can find no detail of exactly what this is.
I feel we will need to keep a close eye on this one and fear that a quest for faster decisions may result in the wrong decisions at the detriment of local communities and the character of our towns.
I will be involved in the consultation process on this and if you would like to tell me about concerns you have please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and mark the email 'Planning White Paper Consultation'.
In the mean time you may like to look at these websites.
The White Paper.
Royal Town Planning Institute (discussion on the paper)