Tuesday 4 September 2012

Carry on dithering!

How odd to read comments from George Osborne about planning changes.

" It's absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. You can get much faster decisions on the continent, let alone countries like China".

Is that the China where planning laws, where they exist at all certainly do not favour the citizen or community. And where neighbourhoods can be torn down overnight to make way for a big new development by a well connected and powerful developer.

It's worth recalling that " dithering" saved many an important national landmark from the hands of developers; St Pancras station, the Christ Church meadows (to be torn up for a ring road! ), the old victorian district of Jericho in Oxford and perhaps most monstrous of all the plan to turn Princes St in Edinburgh into a highway where inconvenient pedestrians would be banished to a first floor walkway!

So the National Trust, CPRE and other lovers of our great countryside heritage need to gear up. In fact we need a wider third sector campaign to protect our environment and to ensure that growth and development, which we need, is not at the expense of communities.

And I have swapped the glories of the magnificent devon coast for the incomparable charm of what must be one of the world's most gorgeous citites; Edinburgh.

We have a meeting of ACEVO scottish members and our sister organisation ACOSVO. We will be talking of our joint challenges and discussing the different approaches of the 2 administrations to our sector and to economic recovery as we wait on the results of the reshuffle. Will Hurd remain? Be promoted? Who will we get?

And finally so good to see that ncvo are coming behind our campaign to protect the National Lottery and have written to Hunt in similar vein. It is always more powerful when we have a united front on such matters. We cannot afford to have the health lottery eating into proceeds from the National Lottery's money to good causes.

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