Campaigners representing “Planning Disaster” , a coalition of Britain's leading environment organisations, today drew up a spoof planning notice for a new nuclear power station to be developed on the current site of Nottingham Forest Football Club. The action was to highlight the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system.
The current planning system allows people to be part of the decision making process. They can have their say on proposals for major developments such as new roads or nuclear power stations. But reforms proposed in the Government's White Paper on planning will remove the public's democratic right to challenge projects at public inquiry. Planning decisions will also be taken out of the hands of accountable politicians and handed over to an unelected, unaccountable new body called the Infrastructure Planning Commission.
Links: Planning Disaster Coalition | Nottingham FOE | Planning for a Sustainable Future: White Paper: website or PDF | House of Commons debate on the issue on 21 May 2007
PLANS FOR WHERE YOU LIVE?
Planning Disaster is concerned that the changes will allow developers to push through major projects that could have a catastrophic impact on communities, the countryside and the wider environment. It is calling on the Government to rethink the Planning White Paper and introduce a planning system which allows people an effective say in how their area is developed.
The spoof application coincides with the release of a map  that has been produced by Planning Disaster. The online map highlighting the location of new developments in the East Midlands that could be forced through if the Government gets its way over changes to the planning system is being launched today (3 August). The map includes information on new nuclear power stations, incinerators, airports and roads. It was designed to help people find out how changes to the planning system could affect their area.
The interactive map, which can be viewed at www.planningdisaster.co.uk, allows individuals to zoom down into maps or satellite pictures of the East Midlands to identify the exact location of potential developments including: expansion of Nottingham Airport – there are plans to quadruple freight traffic and double the number of commercial destinations offered; road widening including widening of the M1 between Junction 21 and 30 in Nottinghamshire.
Callie Lister from East Midlands Friends of the Earth said:
“Who knows what sort of developments might be proposed for sites like this in the future. Today the public can have a say on proposals for new development such as the construction of incinerators, roads, airports and power stations. If the Governments White Paper goes ahead they may not be able to. This could devastate communities and destroy the countryside. The Government needs to rethink and introduce a planning system which allows people a say in how their area is developed.”
The Planning Disaster Coalition has made it easy for the public to make their voice heard in the Government consultation. All they need to do is send the Government an email via www.planningdisaster.co.uk. The deadline is 17th August.
 Planning Disaster’s member groups represent over five million members. The Planning Disaster Coalition’s members include, Airport Watch, CPRE, Friends of The Earth, The Grasslands Trust, The National Trust, nef (The New Economics Foundation), the Ramblers' Association, the RSPB, Transport 2000, UKRIGS, The Wildlife Trusts, and The Woodland Trust.
 An embargoed map is available to view ahead of the launch at: http://www.planningdisaster.co.uk/map.html