The Government have no plans to scrap the statutory requirement for planning notices to be advertised in local newspapers. This is a shame, as it effectively requires councils to subsidise local newspapers – an unsatisfactory arrangement for all concerned.
Still I was amused by Written Answer by the Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis stresses the importance of ensuring planning applications had due prominence.
More broadly, in response to his implicit suggestion that such notices should be abolished in newspapers, I would direct the hon. Member to a passage from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
“People of Earth, your attention, please… This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you…
"There's no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now…
"What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.”