In reply to you excellent editorial in the Echo (Sept 28),which I fully support, here are some other points about the new planning proposals which I find pretty draconian.

Main point is it takes planning control away from local control, putting it in property developers' hands.

106 controls removed. This allowed infrastructure charges and a payment levied for affordable housing to be relocated to another site.New system apparently but no details yet?

At the moment any site of 10 units or under require no affordable housing.

Under the new proposals here will be none on sites of 40 to 50.

New proposals on empty shops and offices, planning can bypass local cont rol leading to shoebox flats on shop sites, flats only 15 to 20 sq m?

Government have since said all flats must be 37 sq m minimum, but won't be taking retrospective action on flats already converted. Not good enough.

Also later, land can be designated as a redeveloped area or protected area.

We have also seen this locally with the North Dorchester development not being made a protected area.

This could lead to a developer given the land and building luxury houses and flats with no local control.

Where will the ordinary residents, young and old live?

There is an answer; bring back council housing, but Dorset Council seem loathe to do this as they say they don't have the funds or stock.

One question though what happened to the ringfenced money that W&P Council and West Dorset held for council house sales?

All in all these proposals are an affront to local democracy, but with an 80 seat majority I fear the Government will bulldoze them through.

I just hope the Local Government Association has the courage to stand by their concerns and oppose them.

Barry Thompson

Chair Dorchester & District Labour Party,