Skip to main content

Planning: Public Participation

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase local involvement in the planning process; and if she will make a statement. (156948)

In the White Paper Planning for a Sustainable Future (CM 7120) and associated documents, we set out a number of proposals for improving the responsiveness and efficiency of the planning system while maintaining or enhancing the delivery of other objectives, including the involvement of communities in planning decisions.

For example, the proposals for nationally significant infrastructure projects would involve the public at every stage: on the development of national policy; on project proposals as they are being developed; and at the inquiry stage.

Our proposed changes to the Local Development Framework system aim to ensure both a more streamlined and tailored process and a more meaningful, engaged level of community involvement.

Community involvement will also be an important component of Planning Performance Agreements—a new way to manage large scale major planning applications.

The Government are also providing a grant of £1.7 million in 2007-08 to Planning Aid. This is for the provision of free and independent professional advice to groups and individuals who need to engage in the planning system but who cannot afford to pay for such advice.