England’s right-to-build laws are tokenistic and feeble – just ask the people of Totnes | George Monbiot
A Devon project to provide housing and community facilities has had the ground sold from under it
Among the most important democratic questions is how the land surrounding us is used. Is it providing homes we can afford, public services and green spaces, or is it being used by a few to impose damaging schemes on the rest of us and extract profits at our expense?
In a lively democracy, we would be allowed to design our own communities to meet our own needs. But while we are invited to participate in the planning system, this often means little more than approving or objecting to plans put forward by property developers, whose interests seldom align with ours. Instead of democracy, there’s a veneer of public consent.