We are about to lose the power to decide for ourselves

The government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill 2012-13 had its first reading in the House of Lords on 18 December, 2012.

Why should you care?

Because if it is allowed through then your local council and county council will have no power at all to decide on issues like fracking.

Instead decisions will be taken by bureaucrats working for the Secretary of State in London.

The Secretary of State will be able to direct that some applications for nationally significant commercial or business projects will go to him via the development consent order (“DCO”) regime of the Planning Act 2008. A related change will allow the Secretary of State to direct that certain applications (or classes of application) for “commercial or business projects” are to be consented through the specialised Planning Inspectorate process previously reserved for nationally significant infrastructure projects such as power stations, railways and motorways. Fracking will be included in this category.

The second reading – the general debate on all aspects of the Bill – takes place on 8 January.

Please write to your MP expressing your concern that local democracy is being undermined.

An even easier way to make your point is by filling in the on line form here on the FoE website

Our local politicians must have the power to decide on issues like fracking, which could have a permanent and severe negative impact on the local area.

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