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Diddly Squat Planning Reform.

One Mr Jeremy Clarkson, aided by his boss Kaleb Cooper, in the first series of Clarkson’s Farm (Amazon) won an award for highlighting the plight of the farming industry in the U.K.

The hilarity of his behaviour and general incompetence make good entertaining TV, however there is an underlying message that Government overreach is destroying an industry, via jobsworth bureaucrats in Whitehall.

The second series has highlighted the iniquities of the planning system, whatever the settled Government policy on diversification, lack of opposition from statutory undertakings, West Oxford District Council effectively destroyed the creation of fifty jobs. The creation of a farming cooperative would save family farms. By all accounts the opposition in the local village is being directed by urban incomers with clout and money to engage a sneering ‘planning barrister’ who amply demonstrated that the decision was made way before the statutory public meeting. The hesitancy of some voting in the application spoke volumes. As a former councillor, we were all fully aware that the ruling group had met in a local hotel beforehand to decide the vote.

The public outcry and Clarkson’s appeal look like landing the ratepayers with a quarter million pound costs bill.

The Planning Acts are now seventy years old, have destroyed the possibility for many of owning a home, because those Acts restrict the supply of building land. The Acts were the first ‘green’ policies foisted on the British people literally stopping people enjoying their own property. The new regulations and restriction on the rented sector mean that landlords are quitting and selling.

Some of the prettiest villages, towns and cities have never seen a planner or planning committee.

This party has long called for the abolition of these inefficient and iniquitous Laws.

All power to your elbow Mr Clarkson.

Andrew Withers FRSA

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