Radical Government Planning Reforms (relaxation) missing the elephant in the room

Radical Government Planning Reforms are proposed which will govern what can be built and where and how, and facilitate topsy development present a great risk to future generations and climate change.

The Government proposed changes to the planning system in August 2020 in their White Paper – Planning for the Future which proposes substantial deregulations, in other words, permits a type of free for all, well developers.

In the face of these dangerous changes, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Friends of the Earth hosted an electronic app for residents to write to your MP (click here) and for people to sign their petition (click here).

Click here to find out more about their concerns.

Many councilors expressed an opinion that locally, councils and residents will lose their ability to shape their local areas.

I agree but, there is a massive elephant in the room that we must also address. Urgently.

Here are my thoughts. Tell me what you think, and why.

  • Yet again our Government has missed an opportunity to save our planet, our life-support system, and also install a new green paradigm which would have also boosted our economy, created jobs, and improved well-being in the most holistic sense.
  • As Boris Johnson indicated in his Foreword to the proposals, it has been more than 80 years since the planning system was fundamentally re-written. Such legislation may not be completely rewritten for many decades to come, yet we face challenges greater than ever faced by mankind before which require agile and expert changes to be facilitated by this ponderous planning beast.
  • Once again, our Government has failed to place at the heart of legislation the requirement to significantly tackle climate change, to build in resilience to the extreme weather expected in the UK, and to reverse mass extinctions of UK species.
  • The “use of land” needs to be managed to provide truly extensive areas for carbon sequestration and biodiversity restoration, swapping out pastoral farming for arable farming (indicating a move towards plant-based diets), and the creation of more, expansive and managed green belt areas.
  • The location of constructions need to be limited to brownfield sites only and, building processes must be carbon negative
  • Key permissible parameters of developments should include protecting residents from the extreme weather expected in the decades to come, facilitating carbon negative living, and tie into a national Biodiversity Action Plan, which should include the greening of urban areas and developments.
  • Builders tell me that they are happy to comply with clear regulations because they then permit economies of scale and so economic viability.
  • Planning regulations need to be re-written NOW to view all developments through the lens of existential climate change and biodiversity extinction. Only then can we release developers to retrofit and build freely; the right buildings; in the right way; in the right place; to benefit present and future generations.


I hope you found this useful.

Please get your MP to consider this (click here) and ask Councillors to sign the petition at https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/68213/petition/1?locale=en-GB 
Accountably yours


Cllr Wisdom Da Costa


  • This post is part of the WWRA Councillors regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as promised in their election leaflet
  • It is also to comply with clause v of the Members Code of Conduct which states, “You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.”
  • The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).
  • Any errors are unintentional so, I would value you bringing them to my intention so I can correct them. You can Email me cllr.dacosta@rbwm.gov.uk