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Local Government Committee launches survey on planning system

Posted on: November 2, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched an online public survey inviting respondents to set out how they have used the planning system in the past and ways in which it could be improved in the future.

The SoE is urging news publishers to submit their responses to the survey to address concerns around removing the requirement for public notices to be printed in local newspapers.

The survey is accepting responses here until 12 November.

The Society of Editors has recently responded to the Committee’s consultation Planning for the Future to warn that any decisions regarding the removal of the statutory requirement for public notices to be published in local papers was likely to lead to reduced accountability and transparency.

The government’s review of the current policy also proposes wide-ranging changes to planning laws and has seen regional newspaper groups and MPs call on the government to safeguard planning notices in local papers. 

The government’s ongoing review of the planning system has also seen the Society support the extension of publicity requirements around Permission in Principle (PiP) applications to the local press if the scheme is expanded to include major housing developments as proposed.

Ian Murray, executive director of the SoE said last month: “The perception and transparency of local democracy is underpinned by the longstanding obligation on councils to publish planning notices in local newspapers.

“It is essential that hard to reach communities and those that rely on traditional media continue to be kept abreast of important matters that are being made in their name.

“Ensuring that the obligation to continue to publish notices in local papers is maintained is the best way to ensure that the public’s right to know remains fulfilled.”