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Unfair planning system needs re-balancing, say parish councils

The planning system is unfair, claims the National Association of Local Councils.

Developers put in an application, but if it is refused they can re-apply or just appeal and get another bite at the apple.

The reverse is not true for councils or residents opposing applications. Once planning permission has been granted, there is no opportunity for review.

Geraldine Brown, chairman of the Maidstone branch of KALC
Geraldine Brown, chairman of the Maidstone branch of KALC

Chief executive Jonathan Owen said: “The planning system is unfair. It is one of the few decision-making processes that gives no right of appeal to affected third parties.

“The government should introduce a limited third party right of appeal by giving parish councils a right to appeal planning decisions to the Planning Inspectorate.

“With the current national presumption in favour of sustainable development throwing the planning system into disarray, in the interests of justice, the Government should give parish councils the right to appeal planning decisions.”

NALC, which represents town and parish councils across the country, has launched an on-line petition on the Parliament website.

If the petition gains 10,000 signatures, the Government must respond to it. If it gets 100,000 signatures, it must hold a debate in the Commons.

Geraldine Brown is chairman of Yalding Parish Council and also chairman of the Maidstone branch of the association.

She said: “Sometimes parish councils feel really strongly that the borough has got it wrong.

“Appeals can be expensive and would not be taken up lightly, but at least it would give parishes an avenue where they could go and help to redress the imbalance.”

The petition has so far attracted 7,626 signatures. The deadline for signing is April 19.

To add your name to the petition, visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/110489

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