PATRICK Mullee (Warrington Guardian, March 19) seems to think the local council can just refuse planning applications where there is ‘public outcry’.

The system doesn’t work like that.

It works under rules set by central government.

Proposals issued following the Budget are to ‘promote more, well planned development where homes are needed’.

That will include building above stations in urban areas, building upwards on existing buildings without planning consent including allowing two extra storeys on blocks of flats, and rewarding local councils that build more homes where they are most needed.

On top of this, ‘to promote proper consideration of applications by planning committee’ (that is – make it harder to refuse applications), if an application is refused and the applicant wins at appeal, the applicant will get the planning fee back (notwithstanding all the costs to the council of processing the application).

The Conservative manifesto commitment to build 300,000 homes a year nationwide equates to around 1,000 a year in Warrington, although they have yet to tell the council their latest formula for assessing housing need.

If we don’t have that sort of number in the Local Plan, it would probably be thrown out.

Then the Government would ‘prepare to intervene’ by ‘considering appropriate action on a case by case basis’.

We may have our minds on other things at the moment, but these are the Government plans and they will be backed by legislation no matter what the public outcry when they are implemented.

CLLR STEVE PARISH Labour, Chapelford and Old Hall Ward