Give people a voice in Localism Bill planning proposals

January 2011: Major changes to the Localism Bill are needed to allow people have a meaningful voice in new Government planning proposals and to ensure the new system tackles climate change, says Friends of the Earth.

The Bill was being debated by MPs in Parliament for the first time on January 17. 2011.

The Government's Localism Bill aims to reform the local planning system, but the environmental campaigning charity says that current proposals severely limit the opportunity for community participation in the new decision-making process - and that the new system is likely to be too costly for all but a few.

Friends of the Earth also says more must be done to ensure the proposed new neighbourhood planning system plays its part in tackling the expected impacts of climate change and cutting the emissions that cause it.

Measures to tackle climate change will also create new jobs and industries.

Friends of the Earth's Planning Campaigner Naomi Luhde-Thompson said: "We are concerned that local people will be railroaded by planning decisions under this new law - and that it won't protect them from the worst effects of climate change.

"Major changes are needed to the Localism Bill to ensure that neighbourhood planning plays its part in tackling climate change and creating a sustainable future.

"Planning reform is essential - but these proposals will not deliver the greener, fairer planning system we so urgently require."

Source: Friends of the Earth

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