Changes to the national planning system – a threat to Brightling?

The Government is planning a major overhaul of the planning system.  This is a very radical reform, described as the biggest change to the system since it was introduced in 1947.  The government is currently consulting on its proposals and the consultation is open to anyone to respond.  There are two main consultations:

Changes to the current planning system

Planning for the future

(Follow the above links to see the documents and consultation in full.  The documents themselves contain links to the consultation pages where you can input your own responses – but be quick, closing dates are 1st and 29th October respectively).

Brightling Parish Council considered these proposed changes at a special meeting on Wednesday 16 September 2020.  As a result of this meeting:

  • Brightling Parish Council considers that these proposals could be damaging to the area in which we live
  • Brightling Parish Council urges everyone to contact our MP and our local district and county councillors about these proposals (contact details below)

To assist with contacting our MP and councillors we have prepared two documents (which have been approved by the parish council).

  1. Brightling Parish Council’s interpretation of the impact of these proposals on areas like Brightling.
  2. Points to consider making when contacting the MP (or councillors).

Brightling Parish Council has already submitted formal consultation responses to both the Government documents.  However, we consider that the most effective way to influence these proposals is through political channels, which is why we have decided to urge parishioners to contact our MP and councillors.

We are not alone in being concerned about these proposals.  CPRE (which is supported by Brightling Parish Council) has expressed major concerns.  Briefly, CPRE says

  • The government has devised some new plans that could pose a huge risk to the countryside and the communities living and working within it.
  • Ministers want to take decision-making powers away from communities and local councils, handing it over to housing developers and central powers in Westminster.
  • Under these new proposals, our ability to shape the future of where we live – a right communities have had for 70 years – could be lost with the stroke of a pen. 

Other parish councils are also concerned.  Brightling Parish Council has taken part in a  joint working party with councillors from Burwash, Etchingham and Ticehurst.  This working group has its own website: Burwash Save Our Fields  The following documents were drafted in conjunction with this working group and have been submitted as the formal response of Brightling Parish Council

How to contact our MP

Huw Merriman, MP

Other ways of contacting Huw Merriman

How to contact our local councillors

Councillor Mrs Eleanor Kirby-Green (District Councillor)

Other ways of contacting Eleanor Kirby-Green

Councillor John Barnes MBE

Other ways of contacting John Barnes