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Planning


Steve Parish
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For those who think the present planning system is poor....

 

The latest government bill (Growth and Infrastructure Bill) gives the Secretary of State power to "designate" a local authority (for reasons yet to be determined) and then planning applications can be made instead to the Secretary of State (i.e. civil servants) and the Secretary of State can appoint someone (anyone he likes) to decide the application (while expecting the local authority to provide information) but if he doesn't like the way it's going he can unappoint the appointed person and decide it himself * - and whatever is decided "The validity of that decision is not to be questioned in any proceedings whatsoever."

 

This is of course the latest example of "localism".

 

* If you must know, this bit is clause 5 of the Bill, to amend The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by inserting section 76D(1) - An application made to the Secretary of State under section 62A (“a direct application”) is to be determined by a person appointed by the Secretary of State for the purpose instead of by the Secretary of State, subject to section 76E. Just for clarification, section 76E(1) says The Secretary of State may direct that an application made to the Secretary of State under section 62A (“a direct application”) is to be determined by the Secretary of State instead of by a person appointed under section 76D.

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Does that mean that WBC planning dept., will become defunct (offically as it's already defunct)?

I'll take that as a jocular remark. No, they'd just be post-officing information to the Secretary of State or his appointee. If you just want an extension (bear in mind that most applications are approved by officers on delegated authority) why would you apply to someone who doesn't know the town against whose decision there is no appeal? (Though if they turn you down, presumably you could then reapply to the local planning authority!) The only people likely to go this route are the big developers wanting to avoid local objections and relying on a government that thinks local objections, and having to provide ancillary benefits like affordable housing, are barriers to growth.
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Local objections are by and large determined by the negative impact any developments would have on the objectors personally. Building houses wherever we can fit them in is all well and good, but when you have councils like Warrington that are totally anti-car and anti-motorist, any development should be accompanied by an ibncrease in the road infrastructure to take account of the increased traffic.

 

Our council has no intentions of catering for additional traffic, however they are more than happy to approve building schemes and take the extra tax revenues which overload the already fragile road network. Take Chapelford for example.... thousands of new houses on an estate that is fed by a couple of single track roads leading to a motorway network which is also fed by a few single track roads. Instead of faffing about trying to fix the non-broken junctions on Cromwell Ave and Sankey way, cllr Dire should be sticking a blooming great dual carriageway from the motorway to Chapelford and so allowing traffic to clear the areas a lot quicker and so reducing the queues up that side of Westbrook in a morning and afternoon

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It isn't just Warrington Council that is anti-motorist Baz. Are you not aware that it has been Government policy to discourage car use for years. The problem is, as you point out, that it has not stopped the planners approving new housing, shopping and employment developments which need infrastructure.

 

Perhaps they think if they cause enough traffic chaos, people will start leaving their cars at home but in fact research has shown that most people would sooner sit in their cars in a traffic jam than travel by bus - assuming they can find a bus!

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I beg to differ about Sankey Way. I have on many occasions, been cut up by useless incompetent drivers in the wrong lane at the roundabout, just signalling sometimes that they were in the wrong lane and expecting everyone to give way to them. What is needed is a three lane road into town from the traffic lights, a bloody big lane sign on the overhead bridge showing Hospital is left lane, the shambles at frogall lane and midland way is centre lane and outside lane is rail station, town hall and old Liverpool road.

 

The bus lane on Cromwell avenue should be scrapped too.

 

 

Surely the days of potty prescott are over and some sense is now appearing in the government? Sorry too soon for this yet.

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I beg to differ about Sankey Way. I have on many occasions, been cut up by useless incompetent drivers in the wrong lane at the roundabout,

 

you've said it yourself Wahl.... that is driver error and not the roads themselves. If the signs are there (which they are) it is up to the drivers to follow the signs and go the long way round instead of everyone else having to give way for them.

 

Get an accident camera in your car and go have a field day.... nice new front wing or two!! :D

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