The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission Welcome to the Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Added on: 29 October 2020 at 09:54:05

Response to the Planning White Paper


The Battersea Society is the long-established civic society for Battersea within the London Borough of Wandsworth and an active member of the London Forum.

The key reservations we have about the Planning White Paper (PWP) are

  • The lack of relevance to London

  • The lack of detail about the implementation - or indeed feasibility - of these plans

  • The emphasis on centralised policy which will reduce local democracy

  • The assumption that the Local Planning Authority is inefficient and that Local Plans are not fit for purpose. That has not been our experience in Wandsworth (LBW)

  • Removal of Duty to Cooperate: in densely developed metropolitan areas with many agencies having infrastructure criss-crossing LA boundaries, retention of this duty is essential to allowing strategic and efficient development

  • The assumption that response from the public via tweets and social media is more democratic than a fully-considered response

  • The need for substantial investment in new systems and additional expertise at a time when local authorities have been stripped of both.

  • Over-optimism about the gains to be made through new IT systems, and about the problems in implementation

  • The emphasis on 'reducing unnecessary assessments and requirements'. Surely Grenfell suggests caution here. The stripping away of proper oversight from the local planning authority and into the hands of developers and their consultants should be reduced rather than extended

  • The inadequacy of the environmental proposals together with the lack of plans for transport infrastructure and the protection of bio-diversity and green space in urban environments

  • The lack of proposals for decent standards within the homes such as adequate daylight, room size and ceiling heights. Densification mitigates against all these with the current mantra from developers being that if you wish to live in London you have to put up with these shortcomings

  • Lack of awareness of the positive role of development management policies to protect conservation areas and local heritage assets

Should the government be prepared to go ahead with these plans we support those who call for a regional pilot to be set up, this to run for sufficient time for the results to be meaningful.

Given this, we give below our contribution to this consultation. This is based on over twenty years of active participation with the LBW and local developers on planning within our area. We have omitted answers to those questions where we have no opinion or consider we lack the knowledge to provide a worthwhile answer.

You will find the full document here.