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and Development Control
ne of the major influences on the countryside, and, indeed on much of the environment is development of new buildings, land uses, changes to existing buildings, and so on. Much of this activity is controlled by the planning system. This system, based on the Town & Country Planning Acts (of which there have been several) and some other Acts, is immensely complicated and often confusing. However, used wisely it can be a very powerful weapon to those wishing to preserve or enhance certain areas - be they countryside or urban.
There is a huge and ever-changing body of information about planning and planning law (a bit of which is online), so don't expect to find much of it here on Naturenet. But read on, don't worry, as we will supply you with a few essential elements, and pointers to find out plenty more.
Like most legal issues, if it is a matter which is important to you you are strongly advised to get professional advice before making any decisions. Just because you read it on the Internet dosn't mean it's true enough to bet your house on (unless its on Naturenet, of course). Planning consultants are not too expensive and could save you a pile of money and trouble.
an organisation campaigning for reform of the planning system, organised from
the viewpoint of local community groups and campaigns.
Planning Aid: a voluntary service offering free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant. It aims to give people the confidence to help themselves and to become involved in planning issues. They give good advice and if you're confused about any planning issue and don't know where to start, this is the place to go.
Planning Help: CPRE Planning help website. Full of useful advice and information, and all done with landscape and conservation in mind. Very good.
Glossary of Planning Terms: a great directory from the marvellous Brent Council website.
How to object to or support a planning proposal: a good no-nonsense summary of the way to approach it.
Legislation relating to Buildings Conservation: from the marvellous Brent Council website.
The Planning Portal: the Government's official planning pages for England and Wales particularly; with a huge amount of information and services online.
Environmental Impact Assessments: people often get quite worked up about these, but they are not really what they sound as though they are. Just because it includes the word 'environmental' doesn't mean it is anything to do with green conservation. You need to know exactly what you are doing if you are going to argue legal matters on the basis of an EIA, so get some proper advice before you do. Follow the link for the official pages anyway.
Planning advice: - online planning advice (as the name might suggest), from The Royal Town Planning Institute.
Froglife (pdf): fact sheet on protecting herptiles from adverse planning decisions and other threats - big download but well worth it.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
Archaeologists and Development Campaign Strategy: an interesting document which would be worth reading if you are considering planning a campaign against a development, even if it is nothing to do with archaeology.
About Listed Buildings.
Community Planning Website: promoting more local involvement in the planning and management of the environment.
Beating the Developers: An Activist’s Guide to the Planning System: a comprehensive and well-informed guide, in simple terms, to the planning system and how to operate it from the point of view of an objector. Available to download as a zipped file so you can read it at your leisure. Good bits on Forward Planning, Development Control, Planning conditions, Structure Plans, Local Plans and UDPs.
Trees in Conservation Areas
Protected Sites: Naturenet's index of sites with designations, which includes many giving special planning protection.