Letter: An appealing right

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The Independent Online
Sir: The case of North Cornwall District Council reveals the weakness of the British planning system ('All power to local planning committees', 24 November). Refusals of planning permission can be challenged. Permissions cannot. The Council for the Protection of Rural England is right to call for a right of appeal against planning permissions.

Clear specification of the grounds for third-party challenge, such as ignoring development- plan policy, can be devised to ensure the planning system is not overwhelmed. Planning decisions made in the knowledge that unreasonable decisions can be challenged are more carefully made.

The introduction of third-party rights would improve the legitimacy of the planning system, at a time when concern and conflict over local environmental matters continues to grow.

Yours faithfully,

PATSY HEALEY

Director, Centre for Research in European Urban Environments

University of Newcastle

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