Central Bedfordshire Council puts planning decisions behind closed doors
CPRE Bedfordshire are deeply concerned about the decision by Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) to remove elected councillors from the decision making process.
The BBC has reported on this development which will mean decisions are made by the chief executive rather than the committee.
We believe that planning is a hugely important process. Some of the key planning applications that could be heard and decided by one person under these regulations will impact many people across Central Bedfordshire. It is important that these decisions are made in a democratic and open manner.
CPRE are monitoring these issues on a regional and local level.
“Understandably, concerns have been raised about the potential for democratic accountability and public engagement to be side-lined, also that environmental checks and balances may be overlooked in the interest of short-term economic expediency.
We’re currently looking into this, as is the wider planning profession. We’ve requested that the housing, communities and local government parliamentary select committee formally examine the issue, and have been trying to get a meeting with the new housing minister, Christopher Pincher MP.”
CPRE Bedfordshire will be campaigning for openness and transparency in the planning process. We hope to see digital solutions found to enable a democratic voice in these decisions.