Chichester District Council stopping writing to residents about local planning applications

With a deluge of new planning applications, residents have raised concerns about the new procedures set out by Chichester District Council (CDC) for Planning Applications.

https://www.chichester.gov.uk/planningcoronavirusupdate

How New Procedures for Planning Applications Discriminate:

 

Hard Copy Representations may not be considered

 

Firstly, “Consideration of representations made solely in hardcopy cannot be guaranteed at this time” (Consultation Responses). It is understood that Covid-19 has made a significant impact on services. However, opening, sorting letters and scanning or passing them to the relevant officer should not be too complex a task?

This discriminates against those who are not online

 

No postal notification to owners and occupiers adjacent to application sites

In addition, CDC will no longer send postal notifications to owners or occupiers of land adjacent to application sites. The owner of the site will be asked to print and display a notice outside of their property. (Publicity and Site Notices) 

This means that the public will not be informed as to planning applications

 

People must register online to be informed

The question to be asked is how are local residents going to be informed about planning applications if they are not being written to? CDC suggests people register for the “My Alerts system”, which is fine if you are online. What happens if you are not?

 

CDC identifies huge increase in potential sites and number of houses

Planning Applications are pouring in and CDC’s Housing Economic Land Availability Assessment identifies potential sites to build 26,383 houses, up from 7,917. Do they want us to drown in housing? And CDC is making it much more difficult for the public to be informed and may not consider hard copy representations. 

Is this open democracy or discriminatory disenfranchisement?

Joan Foster, MPAG Lead has had a letter published in the Chichester Observer and written to Eileen Lintill, Leader of CDC requesting a return to democracy. November 2020