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Calling Camden planners to account for decisions

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I urge all colleagues concerned with the quality of the environment in Camden, and with the quality of decision making in Camden's planning department, to buy this week's Ham & High, and to respond through the letters column with views on architecture and planning in Camden.

Currently 80 per cent of planning applications are decided 'behind closed doors', under delegated powers. This prevents architects, residents, and civic and community associations expressing an opinion in a public forum, and prevents good modern design gaining approval.

I urge you to challenge the current system and support our campaign to seek a radical overhaul of the system.

Please write to me with evidence of planning applications which have been dealt with unreasonably by Camden's planning department. You should give information on the application number, case officer, length of time it took to get a decision, and the outcome of the decision.

An approval does not always mean a fair decision. Too often an approval is only obtained following the corruption of a scheme following the inappropriate interventions of planning officers.

Camden Architects Forum is compiling evidence of unfair decision making to challenge Camden and demand change.

We will be taking the evidence to the government to demonstrate that Camden is not following government guidelines (PPG1) to support and encourage good design.

We have an obligation to champion our clients' cases, and to seek opportunities for good modern design without inappropriate interference from a prejudicial planning system.

Chris Roche, chair Camden Architects Forum

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