SAFETY PLANING INTERVENTION – OPEN LETTER – READING NEW LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION

Lead Councillor Tony Page, the Strategic Environment, Planning & Transport Committee (SEPT) and the New Local Plan responses to public concerns – Turning bad practice into good

 

Optimistic view of town planning services!

 

SUMMARY – The Local Plan is the document that contains the policies and sites for how Reading will develop up to 2036. It identifies the amount of development that will take place, the areas and sites where development is expected to be accommodated, and where it will be restricted, and sets out policies for how planning applications will be decided. *

 

WHY – The Reading New Local Plan (NLP) 2018-2036 and its consultation is flawed and is proof of local governance denial and complete ignorance. It’s a world class example of bad governance and performance. It’s appalling and very dangerous. It is also a good example of how shady town leadership is coping out and leaving behind the people of its constituency.

 

The Reading NLP does not comply with enough guidance or recommendations set by the government.

 

The current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) contains ambitious policies on climate change but on-the-ground local authority delivery remains slow, largely because of a lack of taking on-board practical advice and support on how to secure a radical reduction in carbon emissions.

 

Extremely weak urban emergency planning causes harm, this requires immediate climate action to overcome the barriers faced by Reading council; such as strong leadership, collaborative ways of working, leaving corporate affiliations behind, honesty and transparency, good communication, and strong individual moral commitment.

 

Open local government includes the different departments of the city council and all the municipal agencies. It is considered as the institutional level closest to citizens, turning citizens into city-makers. It provides a strategic planning vision to better prepare the city to respond to disaster risks and improves people’s health, well-being and education. Furthermore, local government is responsible for ensuring the continuity of some services in the city which may include highways, energy, water and telecoms infrastructure. The Reading local government has a Duty-to-Protect all Readinger’s lives and assets, RBC Not up-to-date urban Emergency Plan and Services demands PLANNING INTERVENTION!

 

The Reading Borough Council (RBC) Leadership and the Strategic Environment, Planning & Transport Committee (SEPT) responsible for town housing/planning development (built environment) are required to ambitiously exceed minimum expectations, minimum regulations, especially when we are under health threat from climate change and global warming.

 

The Local Plan missing a Model Risk-Impact Evaluation Plan, therefore is not legally compliant.

 

We are not aware of a legal requirement for a ‘Model Risk-Impact Evaluation Plan’, nor are we sure what that would entail. The Local Plan has complied with its actual legal requirements.

– I’m not impressed.

 

“Ultimately, the Local Plan needs to work within the framework of existing national legislation and policy to set expectations for Reading. The Local Plan seeks to mitigate and adapt to climate change within the context of those expectations. However, these must be balanced against the presumption in favour of sustainable development in the NPPF and the expectation that development needs are met insofar as it possible.”

Planning Section | Directorate of Environment and Neighbourhood Services

 

 Who decides what is possible? This response is non-sense and refers falsely to NPPF’s framework most of to which Reading’s NLP planning documentation Not is synced with, as further below. This is directly misleading and under false interpretation.The Reading Borough Council is in breach as it is not up-to-date with the reviewed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), changes that will come into force 2019 and the globally binding agreement the New Urban Agenda.

The Reading Borough Council is in breach as it is not up-to-date with the reviewed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), changes that will come into force 2019 and the globally binding agreement the New Urban Agenda.

Whatever responses or remarks the SEPT will come back with, the Reading New Local Plan is Not in sync with the NPPF. The Strategic Environment, Planning & Transport Committee are aware about this shameful dilemma but choose to ignore this and the whole New Local Plan Consultation is in breach of delivering a sustainable development plan for Reading and its residents. Don’t be deceived by a local leadership that do everything in their powers to ratify an incomprehensive town plan for the next 20 years, just before the changes in the NPPF will come in place! **

 

E.g. Plan-making

Paragraph 23 reflects changes to the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 which come into force on 6 April 2018, requiring local planning authorities to review their local plans every five years from adoption. Under the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, local planning authorities must consider whether to revise the document following such a review and publish their reasons if they decide not to do so. The revised text also proposes these policy changes: Paragraph 21 expects strategic policies to be distinguished clearly in plans, to allow clear scope for local policies to be formulated.

 

E.g. Meeting the challenge of climate change, flooding and heat waves and rivers change

 

Housing White Paper proposals

 

Paragraph 148 refer to the risk of overheating from rising temperatures and makes clear that planning policies should support measures to ensure the future resilience of communities and infrastructure to climate change.

Paragraph 153 and its accompanying footnote incorporate the Written Ministerial Statement of 18 June 2015 on wind energy development.

Paragraph 155 clarify that plans should have regard to the cumulative impacts of flood risk, rather than just to or from individual development sites.

Paragraphs 158-162 clarify policy on the exception test that may need to be applied when considering development in locations at risk of flooding.

Paragraph 149b reflects that local planning authorities are tied to national technical standards, and there is limited scope to extend local ambition.

 

The Clean Growth Strategy sets out the Government’s plans for consulting on energy performance standards in Building Regulations later this year 2018. Local authorities can be an important role in improving the energy performance of buildings, in line with the ambitions of the Clean Growth Strategy, and this will be considered further as the Government develops its consultation proposals.

 

A new paragraph (163) has been added to incorporate the Written Ministerial Statement of 18 December 2014 on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in major developments.

Again, this is something Tony Page, the RBC and the SEPT very well are aware of all coming changes but choose not to act on

As the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) regulations now being checked, are we up-to-date? Again, The Reading Council is aware, even on local level with the only purpose to keep standards and legislation up-to-date with regards to all NLP planning documentation, appraisals and sub-documentation for sustainable development in our environment.

 

Instead of engaging, below a typical response to submissions on the consultation:

 

“It would be really helpful if you could let me know please in the sections of the plan where change is proposed by others, responses or changes go some way to resolving concerns.

If you do not feel that the responses or changes are helpful or appropriate, there is no need to respond to this e-mail as your existing Local Plan comments will continue to stand. Please note that we are also not seeking additional comments on the Local Plan at this time.

Please let me know if you have any queries or would like to discuss further. I will be on leave until 19th June.”

 Sent Friday the 1st June at 4pm

 

Added in all cases; These are minor wording changes that do not alter the policy direction.

 

The choice of not to take responsibility and are purposely wrong doing which is a crime carried out by climate villain.

 

Local government for the town of Reading is principally provided by Reading Borough Council, a single level unitary authority without civil parishes. However, some of the town’s outer suburbs are in West Berkshire and Wokingham unitary authorities. These outer suburbs belong to civil parishes, in some cases with their own town status. Since the 2010 general election, Reading and its surrounding area has been divided between the parliamentary constituencies of Reading East and Reading West. The whole of the town is within the multi-member South East England European constituency.

Why should anyone who reads this care? Because it’s in everyone’s interest this SAFETY PLANNING INTERVENTIONgenerate appropriate plans to shelter, protect and safeguard all inhabitants of our community in the best possible way.

Everything is interlinked, the sooner we realise this connection, the lesser the risk. We must rely on our local government to make the correct and bold medium-term decision for future generations. For the local authorities to carry out and deliver on – Duty-to-Protect.

Climate Change Centre Reading has over the years participated and been representing in several consultations and offered professional advice. 2015 was a turning point when the global community finally realised the dangers and threats that are upon our people’s health and wellbeing. Since 2015, ambition and inclusive are the keyword top down to local level. Why has it not happened in RBC? The conclusion is that these powers need to be investigated and dealt with. As per para 1-7;

 

Climate Change – Paris Agreement – SDGs in relation with regards to Reading’s future

 

1.      I’m afraid the in the Public Consultation does Not have a risk-impact assessment in place, this park & ride scheme will affect all Readinger’s work/life balance for the next 18 years… Protection of People and Assets in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire etc…

2.      Prosperity for a healthy Economy. Looking at this globally, you might save £££ in any other cases, the point really is that investing in resilience always pays, a genuine risk assessment will half the costs instead of doing it after planning approval.

3.      Why has RBC Not carried out a Model Risk-Impact Evaluation Plan? How does the NLP align with gov’s new 25-year environment plan? Additional policy on strengthening existing networks of habitats, taking air quality fully into account. Development within National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty should be limited. Implications for policy on areas defined as Heritage Coast. Protection for ancient woodland and other irreplaceable habitats, by making clear that development resulting in their loss or deterioration should be wholly exceptional and maintains a high level of protection for individual aged or veteran trees found outside these areas. Balance between protecting these important natural assets, while allowing development to proceed in the very limited circumstances where it would have significant public benefits…

4.      In Reading we all know that Reading’s external Reading’s Climate Change Strategy(RCCP) is a joke to be honest, since 2013 only given RBC to plan freely with no climate action ambition.

“Since the original action plans were drawn up, the Council’s overall budget has reduced significantly and consequently the resource available to deliver the action plans has also reduced. We have therefore had to make difficult decisions about priorities and the result is that some actions have been delayed” after five years, please explain, the society deserve a deep and thorough understanding of this “relation” 2013-18.

5.      What is interesting, with his knowledge there seem to be no interest to repair for damage done and trying to catch up for 5 years of lost time with climate damage control measures that has yet Not been implemented in the RBC local planning policy.

6.      In the New Local Plan consultation, the usage of references in public responses and remarks to the NPPF framework is false and directly deceiving by Lead Councillor Tony Page, the SEPT and Planning Section | Directorate of Environment and Neighbourhood Services as the whole New Local Plan documentation is based on old planning policies, plans and strategies, documentation, sub-documentation and sustainability appraisals with references to sustainability appraisal scoping report and duty to co-operate scoping strategy *** Not up-to-date.

“It is not considered that there is any reason to make amendments to the Sustainability Appraisal Framework for the purposes of undertaking this appraisal. The Framework was produced recently, in 2014, and is therefore reasonably up-to-date. The Local Plan is concerned with strategic issues and does not have a limited scope that might necessitate amending the Framework. Whilst there may be plans and documents to consider that were published more recently than the Framework, or new information that has become available, these will be highlighted where relevant.”

7.      The NLP consultation claim it is an open and transparent urban planning process. When it comes to decision making, for many of the Reading residents and for a clear majority of objectors it is certainly Not open and transparent. As an increase of planning objections resulting in no changes proofing the case. Reading is Not disclosing its greenhouse gas emissions data, managing climate risk and cutting emissions. Again, instead of engaging with all non-state stakeholders and together plan for a smooth urban transition the council’s inaction will lead to an increase in residents impacted by planning fraud causing harm.

 

As a citizen and local resident, I’m going to report you, the SEPT Reading Borough Council somewhere I don’t know exactly where, but I will find the appropriate instance to bring the common citizens objection case due to five years of climate action ignorance and denial being calculated and carried out by the Lead Councillor Tony Page and the SEPT.

 

The whole preparations and launch of the consultation of the New Local Plan is highly inappropriate and purpose only seek to get away with town planning approval without having to fulfil standards.

 

Trying to get away with an 18 years plan with the lowest or non-safeguards is beyond foolish and should wake up voices and call for change, we do live in an enlightened and well-informed world.

 

The last to see and make this shift happen is not the fault our elected politicians but their instruments, especially those local authorities run by those who oppose change to powers.

 

These local authorities’ individuals play an important role in improving the local governance performance of Greater Reading and beyond, in line with the ambitions of the reviewed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), this will be considered further as the Government develop its consultation on policy change proposals.

 

Instead of the SEPT coming with remarks to the Reading resident’s representations and objections in the NLP consultation, why don’t you invite all non-state actors to truly inclusive integrated group discussions so that we can consult and move forward with fit solutions on track to the future with a holistic overview? SOLUTION – To engage and get involved with non-state actors and local communities and expertise in an inclusive urban planning, design and decision process of town development is vital and has been avoided. The consequences will follow; the whole Reading’s New Local Plan will need to be revised with new and updated sub-documentation and sustainable appraisals and most important with a risk-impact assessment in place. Yes, this will delay the NLP planning approval for by one year but it’s worth it and will save many lives and assets doing so.

RBC IS AWARE IT NEEDS TO BE FULLY IN LINE WITH THE NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK.

Despite the outcome and go ahead for Reading’s NLP, there is so little time to repair and get this right. Government guidance has also been weak on adapting to climate change, particularly in relation to addressing issues such as heat waves and increased weather changes. PART SOLUTION – The new guide, ‘Planning for Climate Change – a Guide for Local Authorities’, was launched on Wednesday 16th May 2018. It provides an overview of policy and legislation which should be used to address climate change at a local level ****

 

Finally let me point out that the UK has agreed and signed the globally binding agreement – the New Urban Agenda (NUA) being revised to also be synchronised with the Global Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) *****. There is Not one single reference to the New Urban Agenda in Reading’s NLP planning documentation! The Reading Council is also here aware that even on local level with the only purpose to keep standards and legislation up-to-date with regards to all NLP planning documentation, appraisals and sub-documentation for sustainable development in our environment. I suggest all planners and local leaders to have a deep look.

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment as a catalyst towards rapidly greening our homes and the places where we work and play ****

All council’s public bodies/institutions should also divest, it is an offensive and damaging act Not to!

 

RESULT – The purpose with the NLP objection is via Safety Planning Intervention, policy innovation and risk/protection impact evaluation, to improve Reading’s local urban development practices, planning and design to support the British realm and ambition to become a great global leader in the fight against global warming. Also, that the whole RBC get involved with all documentation from the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum ****** that took place from 7 to 13 February 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center – the best way to safeguard and secure Reading’s New Local Plan.

 

REFERENCES

 

* Reading New Local Plan

http://www.reading.gov.uk/newlocalplan

 

** NPPF Consultation

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/685288/NPPF_Consultation.pdf

 

*** Local Plan documents and old other planning policy documents, other old plans and strategies

http://www.reading.gov.uk/localplanexamination

http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/6245/RBC-Emergency-Plan-Policy/pdf/RBC_Emergency_Plan_Section_2_-_Policy_V5.1.pdf

http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/3798/Community-emergency-plan/pdf/Community-Emergency-Plan.pdf

 

**** The new guide, ‘Planning for Climate Change and Net Zero Carbon Buildings

https://www.tcpa.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=0acefe4f-9712-4b37-b2a1-06cd0f8b0293

http://www.worldgbc.org/news-media/world-green-building-council-calls-companies-across-world-make-their-buildings-net-zero

 

***** Links to the New Urban Agenda, SDGs (SDG11) in partnership with World Health Organization

http://nua.unhabitat.org

http://habitat3.org/the-new-urban-agenda

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2018/cities-2030–implementing-the-new-urban-agenda.html

https://unhabitat.org/books/international-guidelines-on-urban-and-territorial-planning

https://unhabitat.org/winners-of-the-11th-cycle-of-the-dubai-international-award-for-best-practices-to-improve-the-living-environment

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300

 

****** Ninth session of the World Urban Forum – Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Cities 2030

http://wuf9.org

http://wuf9.org/kuala-lumpur-declaration

 

KEYWORDS

#Cities2030 #Citiesforall #NUA2030 #SDGs #WomensAssemblyWUF9 #COP24 #AAAA

#wuf9 #wuf9kl #forumbandarsedunia9 #MarrakeshPartnership #UCEEP #Bonn #Fiji #Talanoa #Talanoa4Ambition

#ConservationAction #LandStewardship #TalanoaDialogue #GCAS2018 #COP24 #FutureofPlaces #Greenbelt #DRR

#Placemaking #COP21 #COP22 #COP23 #UrbanAction #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace

#WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #NetZero

#Youngplacemakers #Roadmap2030 #ClimateAction #Vulnerability #Planetary #SDG11 #Listen2Cities

#NoCountryAlone #NewUrbanGovernance #NAZCAportal #UNEA2 #Cities4Climate #G7EMM

#Listen2Cities #SB48Bonn #SB44 #APA1 #Bonn #Pre2020Action #C40Award #AOSIS #GUANXI

 

Kindly support our way to future proof urban development in the UK.

 

Your sincerely,

/Carl, Climate Change Centre Reading