Government proposals to “simplify” planning regulations could result in more Dover’s Corner-style developments being approved in Havering, campaigners fear.

Government proposals to “simplify” planning regulations could result in more Dover’s Corner-style developments being approved in Havering, campaigners fear.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has said it wants to simplify the planning system, reducing 1,000 pages of policy down to 52.

It’s starting a consultation on how best to make planning applications simpler.

Graham Williamson, of the Adamsgate Action Group – who waged an unsuccessful five year campaign against the Dover’s Corner development in Rainham – said that the proposals could mean that opposition to proposals are like “a boxer going in to the ring with one arm tied behind his back”.

Mr Williamson said: “After Dover’s Corner we expect other developers to want to build on the whole of the A13. If you cut down the protection it will let other people do it.


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“Obviously it’s part of the government’s attempt to cut costs, but you can pick a stitch out and the whole thing falls down. Potentially it’s a very negative idea.”

The National Trust is also urging its members in the borough to sign a petition against the plans, as the group says the plans threaten the greenbelt.

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In a statement on Friday, the Department for Communities and Local Government said it wants to cut down on paperwork in the planning system and simplify the application process.

It said: “Whether it’s a householder building an extension or a local shop expanding to the next building, applicants frequently complain that they are asked to give information of marginal relevance that can be very expensive to produce.”

Minister Greg Clark said: “We need a simpler, swifter planning system that delivers fairness for all, from householders to local firms and shops.

“At the moment too many planning applications get stuck in the system for too long, leaving people in planning limbo.”

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