Preston RAGE (Residents Against Greenspace Extinction) want to work with Preston City Council during large scale developments in the city to save greenspace around PrestonAdvertisement
The group started on Facebook and has grown to nearly 700 strong in just a few weeks with the group planning on being in a co-operative relationship as opposed to being a protest group.
Stuart Price, 69, who is one of the founders of the group said: “We very much want to try and enter into a co-operative relationship [with the council].
Read More: Preston councillor calls for end to ‘discriminatory’ stop and searches
“We are asking that plans effecting us all are stopped from being made secretly and behind closed doors.
“We also want to try and work with the council to make a situation where the community has a greater creative and strategic input into the planning process.”
Recently, the government released a new planning scheme which is set to make it easier for the public to find out about local planning applications, instead of them having to rely on ‘planning notices on lamposts’ or ‘applications printed in newspapers’
The proposals are set to allow more community input with planning applications with members of the public able to view local plans in a more clear and understandable way.
The Government’s proposals would see housing schemes ‘Fast-tracked’ through planning, on land set aside for development with developments of over 50 houses no longer having to provide affordable homes.
Cadley Liberal Democrat Councillor Debbie Shannon has condemned the Conservative Governments plans however stating they could lead to less affordable housing.
Cllr Shannon said: “Across Preston, 2813 families are stuck on the housing waiting list. This is unacceptable. The planned reforms will leave families worse off – trapped on waiting lists indefinitely or struggling to afford a decent home in Preston”.
“The Liberal Democrats want to see 100,000 new social homes built every year, and for Preston City Council to have the power to suspend the right to buy, so that we can finally start tackling the housing crisis with locals and not developers, in mind.”
Preston RAGE however hopes that creating a deal with the city council will allow affordable housing being built in the city, while balancing the retention of greenspace.
“We understand that in lots of ways the council’s hands are tied following the 2018 ruling that the government imposed which really opened the door to lots of different developments,” Stuart added.
See planning applications near you below
“We really wish to say yes to affordable housing but we are saying no to destruction of nature.”
The government white paper which was released on Thursday August 6 reads: “Residents will be able to engage in a much more democratic system that is open to a wider range of people whose voice is currently not heard.
“Residents will no longer have to rely on planning notices attached to lamp posts, printed in newspapers and posted in libraries to find out about newly proposed developments,” the document says.
Read More: Preston’s bid for up to £25m from the Towns Fund – and the projects that could benefit
“Instead people will be able to use their smartphone to give their views on Local Plans and design codes as they are developed, and to see clearer, more visual information about development proposals near them – rather than current planning policies and development proposals presented in PDF documents, hundreds of pages long.
“And existing and new residents alike will gain from more affordable, green and beautiful homes near to where they want to live and work.”
The white paper policy will cover planning applications in England and proposes a reform of the system, covering plan-making, development management, development contributions, and other related policy proposals.
Read more: Latest news and updates from Blog Preston
Do you think the planning process needs to be reformed? Let us know in the comments below.