LETTER: Protest pointless under current law

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I refer to Ray Dawe’s article as leader of Horsham District Council which sought justification for the muddle that planning decisions appear to be in by attributing it to unelected adjudicators over-ruling democratically elected politicians.

I can only guess at his motives for inventing reasons why local communities lose benefits when planning decisions made by the district council are subjected by the Planning Inspector in Bristol.

We have, he says, ‘the equivalent of a judge, not elected by anyone, holding sway’. Because I have every respect for the number of years service Ray Dawe has given as a public servant, I am reluctant to believe that he thinks that planning decisions are not controlled nationwide by Case Law in precisely the same way as other decisions made by local Government which must have legal force and sanction.

He must also know full well that the ‘unelected’ do not make the rules by which Case Law is administered. We elect politicians to attend to the making of those rules and their administration where the public has an interest.

If it is the case that councillor Dawe really genuinely believes that local communities are at the mercy of unelected adjudicators, surely, in all honesty he should be leading a campaign to send what he sees to be a fault in democratic government.

On his own analysis he could count on thousands upon thousands of supporters in the Horsham and West Sussex areas, anti-fracking, anti-Gatwick’s second runway and the many objections to housing developments in the columns of WSCT could become united under his banner.

lternatively he could tell them the untarnished truth that all such protests are pointless in face of the provisions of the Town and County Planning Act (2009): unless any body or individual has the resources to mount a legal challenge to decisions made in accordance with that Act.

It is already apparent that the Localisation Act (2011) will have no impact whatsoever on the status quo.

JOHN GREGORY

Brighton Road, Horsham