The most talked about planning issue of the moment appears to be gaining yet more momentum, and with Eric Pickles seemingly in the mood for making radical changes to the planning system we could be seeing a big shake up in the appeal system sooner rather than later.
A third party right of appeal was a major theme in the Conservatives ‘Open Source’ Planning Green Paper, and now Ministers have been further urged to legislate for such a right. The most recent call has come from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF).
The two organisations have pointed out that while developers can appeal against negative planning decisions, the only way for local people to oppose development that has already been granted planning permission is in the High Court, a move which is expensive and time-consuming.
Many developers fear the worst, with perfectly acceptable development delayed by many months as NIMBYs try and appeal anything and everything.
If a third party right of appeal does come into effect, it will make early public consultation more vital than ever. We always recommend engaging with neighbouring property owners before any application, however small the development, but more often than not our clients want to skip this step. If these neighbours will have a third party right of appeal, you will want to make absolutely sure you have them onside from the beginning.
We have worked hard on expanding our public consultation services, and can now offer a wide range of solutions to help engage with the local community. We can quickly deploy bespoke websites and online questionnaires, as well as more traditional media, to help ‘sell’ your development idea to local stakeholders and collect feedback. We find time and again that people respond much better when they are involved at an early stage.
If you want to discuss public consultation strategies please don’t hesitate to contact our PR team – PR@plainview.co.uk.