WE MUST fight privatisation of our planning system.

Your readers should be made aware that the Government’s proposed reforms to the national planning system will remove our right to have a say in how our area is developed.

The changes will, in many instances, strip our democratically elected councillors of their powers to control potentially damaging developments.

This will mean that, in many cases, it will be as good as impossible for local residents to object to what might be damaging and unsuitable building developments in Romsey and its surrounding villages.

This is being done in the name of speeding up house building, yet large – and small - housing developers have already failed to build out more than a million approved planning permissions in the last 10 years.

We need a democratic planning system that gives us and our elected representatives a say in shaping our communities.

As we eventually recover and rebuild from the Covid-19 crisis, we will need to ensure our wellbeing through access to services and green space.

Recovery plans must also contribute to solving the climate and ecological emergency.

We urge our elected councillors to join more than 2000 others, of all political parties, in signing a letter to the Secretary of State hosted on the website of the countryside charity, CPRE https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/68213/petition/1?locale=en-GB

Anton Page

Test Valley Friends of the Earth