Saturday, 3 September 2011

The devil lies in the detail

"Nothing is as it seems. Black can appear white when the light is blinding but white loses all lustre at the faintest sign of darkness." 
Christopher Pike (Evil Thirst)


It would appear the Coalition's proposed reforms to planning laws is starting to draw some opposition, with Greg Clark taking to the airwaves in defence of the proposals and being 'interviewed' in The Times (£). The Daily Telegraph has an article by Louise Gray in which she writes that: "The draft national planning framework states that local authorities should identify “suitable areas for regeneration” where it will be easier to get planning permission for wind farms". For those readers interested in the detail, the draft national planning framework can be read here, together with an 'easy to read' summary here. Needless to say Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home, has weighed in with an article here, linking to this article by Charles Moore in his usual Saturday Daily Telegraph op-ed piece.

There may well be a wish for 'localism' to play a part but the fact that the planning reforms are being sold as 'local people deciding what is built in their locale' is to a certain degree false because, returning to the extract above from Louise Gray's article, this from the draft national policy framework needs to be taken into account:
"The Localism Bill will place a new Duty to Co-operate on councils. The Duty means that local councils should to work together, with other public bodies, on planning issues that impact beyond local boundaries. The draft Framework puts into practice the Duty to Co-operate." (Emphasis mine)
So much for local people deciding what is built in their locale and any idea of localism. We then read, on the subject of neighbourhood planning that:
"If approved by a local referendum (vote), the neighbourhood plan will need to be put into force by the local council."
Yet in the Localism Bill, on the subject of local referenda, we find:
"56 (4) If the authority decides to take no steps to give effect to the result, it must publish that decision in such manner as it thinks appropriate together with the reasons for that decision."
It is logical to assume that member state governments are in constant dialogue with the EU Commission in order that any policy they may wish to introduce does not conflict with those of the EU, or those that may be being considered. Consequently it would appear that all the Coalition have been doing with their localism and planning changes has had to take into account this, from which:
"The European Commission (EC) is actively driving the development of energy infrastructure in EU Member States. However, projects given priority status under the Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) guidelines frequently suffer delays. In most cases, these delays occur during the permitting procedure in the country in question. According to project developers in Member States, the main reasons are strong opposition to projects from stakeholders and complex national permitting procedures. Therefore, if the goals of the EU's 2020 scenario are to be met, stakeholder opposition to prioritised projects needs to be mitigated and the effectiveness of permitting procedures improved."(Emphasis mine)

Update: Further to the quote in Louise Gray's article that: "A separate analysis by the Department of Energy and Climate Change says the reforms are essential to “deliver the infrastructure we need to reduce our carbon emissions", this article has just appeared in the Express: "Were ministers open and honest enough to tell us how much money will be sacrifi ced on the altar of carbon reduction then at least voters could take a view on that trade-off and could decide whether or not it’s worth the proverbial candle. But outrageously the Government is refusing to divulge its offi cial estimate of the GDP sacrifi ce required to reach its ultimate target of a 42 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020."


8 comments:

PeterCharles said...

It is obvious that the changes in planning law are to reduce the potential for disruption when the government wants to do or see something. The likes of you and I will still have to go through all the hoops and costs if we want to add a conservatory or garage or whatever, indeed I suspect that for the private individual things will get even more difficult and expensive.

As I have commented before, it is beyond doubt that the government continuously introduces legislation in response to EU intentions, long before such intentions are even codified in directives, you only have to consider the similarity between legislation all across Europe to see everything is being harmonised in accordance to the diktats of some central plan.

And you are quite correct that the government refuses and will continue to refuse to publicise the actual costs the insane climate change legislation are already and will in future impose, just as they will never provide an official EU cost/benefit analysis, and both for the same reason, those policies would be untenable if the public were even half aware of the costs.

The climate change insanity is beyond any rational belief, if the UK doubled or completely eliminated its CO2 output it would have absolutely no measurable effect, even if the ridiculous 'models' happened to be correct. The only countries where any measurable effect could be produced would be the US, China, India, Russia and the other emerging economies that together account for half of the total emissions. If CO2 amelioration is essential then the only viable solution is that China, India, Russia and the emerging economies must stop developing and the US must return to its 19th century lifestyle. That is the reality no one is prepared to face.

TomTom said...

You should see how France dealt with planning objections hen building nuclear power stations or the TGV !

What France wants the EU implements

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: "it is beyond doubt that the government continuously introduces legislation in response to EU intentions" - if you and I can add two and two, why o why can no-one else?

TT: "What France wants the EU implements" - and Germany?

PeterCharles said...

".... if you and I can add two and two, why o why can no-one else?"

It's not that they cannot see, it's just that they are not interested, most folk are simply not engaged in politics because they don't think they can change anything. Only when the proverbial hits the fan and people start to feel real pain (economically speaking) and get angry will there be an opportunity to get a meaningful response, if anyone can break through the fog of misdirection, misinformation, blaming the wrong cause clap-trap the politicians and so-called experts will be spraying desperately in any and every direction.

DP111 said...

if anyone can break through the fog of misdirection, misinformation, blaming the wrong cause clap-trap the politicians and so-called experts will be spraying desperately in any and every direction.

One of the main obstacles is the BBC. The BBC is a state broadcaster, funded by our taxes, answerable to no one, wholly committed to the EU and the disestablishment of the traditions of Britain.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: "most folk are simply not engaged in politics because they don't think they can change anything" which is why we must change the system of democracy we presently endure.

DP111: The BBC may be one of the main obstacles but it is not the only one. The entire MSM are too dependent on politicians for their living and vice versa! That is another aspect that requires changing!

TomTom said...

and Germany?

German isn't even an operating language in the EU unlike French, spoken by far fewer Europeans. Strasbourg is one of two locations for francophone "parliament". German is not a requirement for the EU Commission President - French is.


Germany is a major net contributor, France is not.

By this token, Britain has done very well in the EU getting its Single Market Agenda under Lord Cockfield through and its open Procurement Rules on EU Contracts....

It is hardly dancing to Germany's tune, but it will have to start if France wants German money for the North African Federation Britain and France have created through NATO

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT: Whilst aware of the above, that to which my question alluded was the fact that Germany is at the moment in the driving seat and that hence like France it tends to get its way.