The proposed and amended proposals to relax the planning regulations are a very serious retrograde step for all local authorities.
Experienced planning officers and the members of planning committees are those who should make planning decisions, based on local knowledge and where necessary consultation.
It is bad enough when well-considered and debated applications are refused by a local planning committee are then over turned, on appeal, by a planning inspector, who, in many cases has never visited the town. To amend the planning regulations so they almost become “a free for all” is one step too far.
For six years, I had the privilege of being chairman of Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee and to have their powers eroded will make them almost useless.
During my time as chairman, members of the committee always did what they considered to be in the best interests of Worthing and will, I am sure, continue to do so in the future.
The Government talks about “localism” but these proposals, if implemented, will, in my opinion, be a recipe for disaster.
Worthing needs to be allowed to look after itself in a democratic and transparent way.