Government Proposals Could Allow People To Bypass Planning Rules

Council Head of Planning, Craig Dryden

Islanders may be able to by-pass the Council’s Planning Department and build what they like if enough locals agree.

Housing Minister, Grant Shapps has today called on communities to start laying the foundations for the future developments they would like to see in their area.

The so-called Community Right to Build proposals would grant permission for community and sports halls, homes or shops if more than 50% of people vote for them in a referendum.

You’d have to form a community group to apply, but while the Government has sent out their plans, they haven’t given any detail to the Planning Department as to whether our islands’ special restrictions on building would still apply.

Chief Planning Officer Craig Dryden says there’s a lot of rules that could stop this happening here, adding that the government headlines are “vague on detail.”

The government hasn’t said whether our conservation area or Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty status would afford Scilly protection from a potential planning free-for-all.

But Craig says there have been some good changes to planning rules with the coalition government.

Councillors have complained that the so-called Regional Spacial Strategy, that prevented us from creating more than five new dwellings per year, prevented us meeting local housing need.

But he says he wouldn’t be in favour of allowing anything through, even if over half of locals backed it.