We are writing to demand that Manchester City Council immediately return to a democratic decision making process for its planning committee. This means scrapping the delegated powers to make planning outcomes about the future of our city.
While we appreciate immediate concerns over both the safety of committee members and ensuring that virtual meetings are secure, we do not believe that suspending the committee until the end of November is a just or democratic way for planning decisions to be handled.
Over the last year many decisions of this committee have been politically sensitive, and the changes to the planning structure risk empowering developers over the people of this city adversely affected by development.
We believe that it is critical that full democratic structures are in place to scrutinise planning decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of the city – and see no justification for the suspension of normal operations until the end of November. Indeed, we do not think major planning applications should be decided by such a small group of decision makers behind closed doors.
It is not in the interests of the people of Manchester to allow decisions to be made on Wednesday 29th April nor in the future that do not include the full planning committee or opportunities for the public to participate. We hope and expect that Manchester City Council will change its position.
Greater Manchester Housing Action
Britannia Basin Community Forum
Climate Emergency Manchester
Friends of Angel Meadows
Greater Manchester Labour for a Green New Deal
Hamerton Action Group
Platt Claremont Residents Association
Rising Up Manchester
Save New Islington Green
Save Ryebank Fields
Steady State Manchester
The Castlefield Forum
The Northern Quarter Forum
The Public Meeting
Trees Not Cars
WalkRide Greater Manchester
29 April 2020