The StirrerThe Stirrer

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond



Planning permission for controversial motorway expansion schemes, bigger airports and nuclear power plants should be made easier according to the government’s new white paper. But as Barbara Panvel observes, most of the media have concentrated on how it will affect conservatories.

The government White Paper was presented as good news on radio and TV recently: most home extensions and improvements will be able to go ahead without needing planning permission.

Having heard this many people will feel quite relieved and start attending to other matters, failing to listen further and realise that some of these improved and extended homes might well later look out on to a new motorway, airport runway, nuclear power station, large supermarket, waste disposal site or incinerator - given planning permission by yet another unelected and unaccountable quango.

The proposed changes to planning laws will speed up the process of getting permission to expand large projects deemed necessary by government.

‘Experts" like lawyers and planners will help to decide policy, according to the minister Ruth Kelly - but how far will the interests of people living in the shadow of such constructions be considered?

Is this a further extension of state power at the behest of vested interests?

It is shocking, but not surprising that a government paying lipservice to abating climate change and urging the public to use low energy light bulbs, proposes to smooth the way for such large projects - every one of which will greatly increase emissions during their construction, and throughout their working life.

(To see our earlier article about this, click here

Do we need quicker planning decisions for major schemes? Can decisions in the national interest be held up by NIMBY's? Leave a comment on our messageboard.

Leave a comment or raise new issues on The Stirrer message board.

©2006 The Stirrer