Greens call on District Councillors to rethink planning power grab

19 September 2017

Epping Forest Green Party is calling on the district council to reject a proposal which would undermine local decisions about planning applications on council owned land.
The proposal, which goes before a full council meeting on Tuesday 26th September, would see local planning sub-committees' decisions to refuse planning applications automatically referred to the District Development Management Committee (DDMC) if:
  • The application is for council-owned land, and
  • The application has been recommended for approval by a planning officer. 
This would drastically undermine the authority of our democratically elected local planning sub-committees by putting the recommendations of unelected council officials ahead of them.
Cllr Steven Neville said, "This motion is totally unnecessary. We have a clear mechanism to refer planning applications up District Development and Management Committee called a minority reference. Each time it must be dealt with on a case by case basis. This motion stops that and in effect neuters local Planning Sub Committees."
The Green Party says that people should email their District Councillor(s) to ask them to reject the motion.
Dave Plummer, the Green Party town representative for Waltham Abbey, said, 'Your district councillors were elected to represent you. Make sure you let them know how you feel about this proposed power grab.'
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Our local planning committees have already suffered a blow by being ordered to meet at the District Council offices in Epping rather than in their own areas.
If you think local planning committees should have the final say please contact your District Councillors to ask them to vote against the motion.
EFDC Agenda September 2017