Potton councillor’s national petition against over-development reaches 21,000 signatures

PUBLISHED: 12:19 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:36 22 March 2017

Adam Zerny

Adam Zerny

Archant

A petition against rural over-development set-up by Potton councillor Adam Zerny has now achieved more than 19,000 signatures and has resulted in a response from the government.

A petition against rural over-development set-up by Potton councillor Adam Zerny has now achieved more than 19,000 signatures and has resulted in a response from the government.

Adam Zerny brought together more than 80 campaign groups from around the country to launch a petition calling for a community right of appeal and the removal of the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ – which gives developers to right to build when a local authority does not have a five year supply of housing.

Councillor Zerny’s petition has now reached around 21,000 signatures – with 100,000 needed to force parliament to consider a debate. However, once national petitions reach 10,000 they then qualify for an official response from the government.

Councillor Zerny told the Comet: “Any government response which states ‘local communities are not forced to accept large housing developments’ as its first line, is worthless.

“The government completely misses the point. Rural communities are not being given sufficient protection and vague promises of a solution at some point in the future just won’t stack up.

“When they tell us communities are consulted throughout the Local Plan process and on individual planning applications I would respond by saying consultations are often a meaningless box-ticking exercise.

“Quite simply the views of the public, no matter how many people, do not affect planning decisions.

“Some local authorities have received in excess of 2,000 objections to individual applications – but it has made absolutely no difference to approval.

“The government has changed the rules so many times it has made it near impossible for a local authority to put together a Local Plan.

“Many have had to keep amending plans and in the meantime, developers can keep on making speculative applications.

“The white paper does not help communities facing over-development now and to make matters worse, the government is considering imposing plans on authorities who have not been able to put them in place.”

Mr Zerny urges everyone who is concerned about possible future development to sign his petition visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177333.

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