Labour’s Planning Proposals Could Make Incinerator Building Easier

Belvedere Conservative Councillor David Leaf has expressed his concerns over new planning proposals which would make incinerator building easier and less accountable. The Barker Review of “Land Use Planning” was published today [5th December 2006] and suggests that a Planning Commission quango should determine the outcome of large projects including planning consents for waste incinerators. This would be instead of the Secretary of State and the incinerator planned for Norman Road, Belvedere, is cited as an example in the Report. Cllr Leaf said: 

“I am very concerned about the proposals outlined in the Barker Review that would make incinerator building easier. Decisions will be taken out of the hands of democratically accountable ministers and into the hands of unelected bureaucrats. While ministers can be held to account for their actions by MPs and Lords in Parliament and by the public at elections, the new proposals are likely to push decision-making further away from people.” 

“There are problems with the planning system that need to be addressed and all parts of the Barker Review need to be studied very carefully. But the implications of unaccountable decisions makers deciding to build large waste incinerators would be bad for local democracy. Had this planning system been in place in the 1990s it is possible that Belvedere would already have an incinerator twice the size of the one currently planned for Norman Road. With this in mind, I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Ruth Kelly) to ask that she scrutinises this aspect of the Report very closely.”

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