Opinion: From Our Readers - Bill will boost the voice of local people

I write in response to 'Stansted runway plan is grounded' (Campaigns, 5 November). Working in public affairs, it seems to me the coalition's push towards localism and community involvement will make this type of campaign more frequent and visible.

This was a campaign against 'concreting over the countryside', which almost every planning application has to face: campaign groups are not new and nor is community-based pressure. The Localism Bill due this month formalises what has always been true - planning should start with community dialogue and involvement and not leave engagement as an afterthought.

The bill will give greater authority to the voice of local people and campaigns such as this. Meaningful community consultation will be the necessary starting point for all developers for both small and major projects going forward. This is a huge opportunity for professionals to demonstrate the integral part that the industry has always played in development and one on which we should capitalise.

Catherine Worboys, consultant, Curtin & Co.

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