Bad new on planning applications locally – Haringey Council are not letting residents come to site visits by the Planning Committee. This is ludicrous. What better way of understanding objections than to hear from people on site what their case is and why they are objecting? Now – of course residents mustn’t intimidate or bully, nor must the Planning Committee members be partisan in their comments – but for heavens sake let the people come!
As my colleague, Bob Hare (Highgate ward councillor) says, the gold standard for site visits is those conducted by Planning Inspectors at appeals. VERY tightly chaired with a strict protocol. The inspector makes sure everyone is clear on what is proposed, where buildings will come out to, how high etc. Both sides (developer and residents) have a chance to say something. Councillors can ask questions. There is no arguing between developer and residents.That’s the way to promote better planning decisions – not keeping the people most affected away.