Below is a recent letter to the press on two proposals contained within the Localism Act.
It is an inarguable fact that no legislative programme is ever perfect. Laudable aims from successive Conservative, Labour and now Coalition Governments in my lifetime have always had negative consequences presenting at certain points in time.
The Coalition's localism agenda is no exception to this phenomenon of realpolitik. I have been publicly critical of the new planning proposals that will probably lead to unwanted development, especially in the rural areas.
My criticism of the that plank of the legislation remains but there are sizable elements of the agenda that I wholeheartedly support. Contained within localism agenda are plans that would see Councils receive powers to punish individuals who deliberately conceal unauthorised developments. There are also proposals for stronger powers to tackle abuses of retrospective planning permission.
From my time on the planning committee of Rugby Borough Council I have continually seen flagrant breaches of the spirit of enforcement and retrospective planning permission. Planning laws are designed to ensure settles and prosperous communities however there are an arrogant minority who assume the rules do not apply to their developments.
The new legislation still has some way to go in achieving a more equitable arrangement on planning but I believe this crackdown on the more distasteful elements of the system deserves to be applauded.
Cllr. Howard Roberts,
Dunchurch and Knightlow Ward