16th April 2010 This morning, drivers witnessed the appearance of a new `airport development` alongside the M5 near Bristol. A giant 70 metre-long mural in a field next to the motorway between junctions 14 and 15, is a blueprint of a runway with a PLANNING APPROVED stamp across it. It has been created by recently relaunched magazine, Beautiful Britain to raise awareness of the need for greater local consultation in the planning process.
The magazine is concerned that the wishes of local communities are being ignored by central government in an attempt to meet national infrastructure targets. Just one month earlier, the magazine surveyed over 5,000 British people, revealing that eight out of ten feel that not enough is being done to protect the places that they love. In fact, one in seven would like to see more red tape when it comes to planning, to ensure that local voices are heard.
Facts about the runway mural:
-At over 70 metres long, Bristols new runway mural is larger than Dorsets famous
Cerne Abbas Giant
-It is made from white biodegradable paint and is expected to last for up to six weeks
Rob Yarham, Editor of Beautiful Britain magazine which commissioned the mural, said:
Beautiful Britain magazine celebrates the best of Britains rural and urban landscapes. With this mural, we want to highlight the threat to those environments posed by ill-considered and rushed planning decisions. We chose a runway because many of these involve transport infrastructure but there are other types of project putting our landscape at risk, including energy and housing developments.
We want planning policy to be at the heart of election debates. Were concerned that the Infrastructure Planning Commission may fast-track large developments without giving local people enough input into projects that will affect them for years to come. Planning policy directly impacts the quality of peoples lives and now, in the run up to the elections, is a great time for people to ask the parties what is their policy. Also to ask their local MP what is their view of planning in their area and of potential large-scale developments in their locality. Now is the time to make your voice heard!
As part of its campaign, Beautiful Britain has created an e-petition to ask the government to enhance local democracy in the planning process, along with a simple guide about what to do if anyone is concerned about a particular development. Both can be found at www.beautifulbritain.net