If you are not sure about who your MP is - we have some useful links on our Take Action page
Dear [MP Name]
Improving the Planning System
I am seeking your support in helping to improve the planning system by ensuring that it is genuinely evidence-based and that public sector organisations (including the government) use credible, up to date information at all times. I hope you will agree with me that this is imperative to maintain confidence in both the system and in the government's aims.
With this in mind, I would like you to write to the Prime Minister, copying the Secretary of State (DHLUC), on my behalf, requesting that policy be updated to ensure the latest data available from public sector sources is used in determining requirements and in making or publishing government statements. If this is not the case, the source of all figures used should be clearly stated.
The media (and others) often quote inaccurate information, despite the public purse paying for and publishing data that contradicts many of the statements made. To support planning, for example, the Office of National Statistics produces household figures (the latest being the 2021 Census data), population projections and updated information on the supply of housing. These datasets show that there are 1.5 million more dwellings than households. Other data is produced by DHLUC. These tables on Affordable Housing supply, for example, show that less than 8,000 additional social homes were built in 2021-22 (the latest available data), and trends demonstrate the huge drop in supply since 2010. Yet, at the same time, government data on homelessness suggests over 83,000 families are affected. Together, this data clearly shows that the housing crisis is one of affordability, not lack of market housing supply.
This is important because citizens are increasingly becoming aware of the way in which organisations that benefit financially from the planning system appear to influence policy, rather than the government basing decisions on need.
You may be aware/As you know, our group [Group Name Here] is a member of the Community Planning Alliance (founded in March 2021). We are one of over 600 community groups nationwide, all campaigning against inappropriate development (this map shows the current extensive CPA membership). CPA members are not anti-development but, as stated in our Manifesto (a very short document that I hope you will take the time to read), we strongly believe the planning system should give communities the power to influence what is happening in the areas in which they live, should protect and enhance green/blue spaces, and species populations and ensure the right developments are located in the right places. CPA members are constructive in our approach, we want the opportunity to be involved in agreeing alternative options, in planning to mitigate the climate emergency, and we expect to see genuinely sustainable development being agreed by our Local Authorities.
To achieve this, we need a seat at the table, both locally and nationally. Your support, by highlighting our request to the PM and the SoS, would be very much welcomed by your constituents.