Monday, May 21, 2007

The end of TAN 8

Today's Telegraph has gone big on 'Giving control back to Councils....'. Its part of a campaign to return power to the people. I'm really up for that. So let the new Rainbow Coalition start by scrapping Technical Advice Note 8, the obscene little rule book which forces Local Planning Authorities to give planning permission for wind farms in parts of Wales which have been given the Orwellian like designation of Strategic Search Areas.

Now I'm not sure this is the sort of issue Will catch fire in the blogosphere - but it creates a raging inferno in the parts of Wales that have been designated for visual destruction, through transformation into wind farm landscapes by TAN 8. I hope the negotiators of the Rainbow Coalition deal have this issue on their agenda. Scrapping it and redrafting the planning guidelines in respect of energy projects (including wind farms) would give the new Government a flying start in rural Wales.

The most obnoxious aspect of TAN 8 was that it was worded with the devious (unstated) intention to remove the power of local planners to decide. In an SSA - approval or costs against you by an inspector. Outside an SSA - refusal, even if its a better site. What sort of local democracy is that. Lets give the power to decide whether a wind farm should go ahead or not back to local councillors to decide. I can't see how this issue can be avoided after what the three parties were saying over recent months. I feel a surge of excitement as the glorious landscapes of Wales can look forward to being saved from the ravages of the Philistines.


Montgomeryshire Witness said...

I agree with you Glyn on this. But I also hope they do relax the planning decisions that have affected so many individuals for extensions, putting your own solar panels up, or even small wind turbines. All too often we've seen the go ahead for 100 plus housing developments at the end of single track roads in Montgomeryshire but when Mr Jones wants to erect a first floor extension it's thrown out for some spurious reason (I haven't submitted an application myself!).

Llainwen said...

you might be interested in the following comment on planning from
stumbling and mumbling


Glyn Davies said...

Spot on, witness. There are moves in this direction in England at the moment - even if I do think they might be a cover to allow major unpopular developments to go ahead despite public objection.

Llainwen, I will have to read the post carefully - later today when I have time. I do believe in the market - but I'm not sure that these ideas are workable.

Aran said...

I think the level at which decisions are made is very important - ideally, I'd like to see planning decisions made by the local community council and pulled up to a higher level only in cases where the decision can be shown to be to the detriment of the community.

And I'd agree that individual cases for extensions/alterations should rarely be refused unless objections are received.

I don't think that market forces are a satisfactory replacement for planning, because despite the ability markets show in certain situations to achieve efficiency, classical models are based on perfectly informed agents, which is never the case in the real world.

Also, much market efficiency is based on scale - when the market covers large geographical areas, that comes close to guaranteeing to create deprived areas.

Blind trust in markets is dangerous - like anything else, they need the right framework.