It has been getting worse by the year, but the Caerphilly Replacement Local Development Plan issue has brought it to a head. There is s real revolt against an LDP chaged from being based on brownfield development, to a completely diiferent one with huge areas of greenfield development. But communites are revolting
Some people describe this as ‘Selling out to the Developers’ But it is winding up into a big issue, and is bringing out into the open the huge deficiencies of the planning system in Wales (and England, reading CPRE), which include – my list: -

  • politicians & planners thinking continuous economic growth is essential (even possible);
  • economic and social priorities always trumping the third ‘triple bottom line’ criteria – environmental;
  • more housing is always the headline, but there is no clear assessment of need, empty properties, etc
  • biodiversity and the environment are luxuries that cannot be afforded;
  • the natural environment will accommodate any development thrown at it. (What’s just another field?)
  • planners & politicians know better than residents and communities (paternalism);
  • democracy and engagement are nuisances, and should be minimised;
  • an LDP does not include a business plan, which would demonstrate how the Plan will improve the lives of residents and future generations (together with a checklist that can be monitored). Planners will say that they have to monitor housing starts – nowhere near good enough;
  • also lacking – a proper assessment of how an LDP will affect the evironment into the future (together with a checklist against sustainability requrements)

Local Authorities such as Caerphilly have a blinkered ‘silo’ mentality, ignoring what is happening just over the border (ie 42.000 new houses in Cardiff). They insist on being self-sufficient, even when it doesn’t make sense. But regional planning is coming in Wales, under the Planning Act

What we need is a Campaign for Open Planning