• CarolineShah

Kingston planning officer demands Total Control

Updated: 4 days ago

Are Kingston's elected Councillors about to authorise the complete trampling of democracy in the Royal Borough?

I have tonight sent a letter to Kingston's 47 councillors asking them to REJECT proposals to change the Constitution of the Borough that will - if approved - see influence and power for planning decisions placed in the hands of a single council officer, the Assistant Director of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, which also happens to be the post held by the person making the recommendations

My letter lays out the proposed changes which show clearly the manner in which the transfer of power will occur

Under the proposals, the Assistant Director of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure will have largely unconstrained power to influence planning decisions: their “opinion” will be able to override the opinion of any other elected representative or council officer, and the person in this post will have to be “consulted” before any planning decision at all is made

How can this be reasonable, unbiased and justified?

The proposed constitutional changes are an insult to Kingston's residents and override legitimate democratic involvement in and influence in planning decisions

There has been NO consultation on the proposed changes

Why would our elected representatives give one council officer so much power just because they demand it?

And why would our elected representatives abandon us at a point in time when we are all facing the decimation of our neighbourhoods and communities by planning applications for inappropriate and unsustainable large-scale over-development across the Borough?

Please write to your local councillors asking them to vote against the proposed changes to the Constitution. You can find contact details for your ward councillors here

Please keep donating to my fundraising so that I can challenge Kingston's development plans in the new London Plan at Judicial Review

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