On a visit to the London Borough of Sutton today, UKIP's London Mayoral candidate Peter Whittle announced that when the Mayor is responsible for making major planning decisions, UKIP will give Londoners the final say through binding referendums, if 5% of the local population petition for such a referendum within three months.
Peter Whittle said, "One of my key priorities if elected Mayor is to actually give power back to those who it belongs to, the people. I want to put democracy back into the hands of local people when it comes to large and controversial developments.
"Recent polling has shown in stark detail that Londoners increasingly feel powerless over their built environment. This is why UKIP's policy proposes binding referenda, held by local authorities, on any new large developments, if 5% of the local population petition for such a referendum within three months.
"This policy is a real transfer of power from the Mayor to the people and will help to protect the connection between Londoners and their city."
Peter was speaking on a campaign visit to Sutton which included a trip to the site of the South London Incinerator, the Felnex site where the controversial District Heating Scheme is proposed to be started at the Phase 1 stage.
The project has been mired in controversy and there have claims made regarding the alleged procedural irregularities surrounding the planning process for the project.
On his visit Peter Whittle also heard from local campaigners how whistleblower Cllr Nick Mattey has been treated for his efforts to bring to light the irregularities surrounding the incinerator project. The local UKIP Branch has also been active in it's efforts to hold Sutton Council to account by asking questions of the council, writing complaints especially in the defence of Cllr Mattey and writing letters to the local paper.
Peter Whittle said, "There are clearly many unanswered questions about the South London Incinerator and there is obviously much local disquiet regarding the scheme.
"If elected I would postpone the process of this project until a full investigation is held into those issues identified by Cllr Nick Mattey and others. It is also the sort of project that we allow residents to have their say on through our plans for local referenda.
"From what I've heard, the treatment of Cllr Mattey by the local Council smacks of embarrassment and congratulations must go to him for his dogged efforts in bringing to light the many issues and irregularities surrounding the South London Incinerator.
"I would also like to congratulate the local UKIP branch for their support of him proving that UKIP puts local concerns ahead of party politics. I would also like to thank them for bringing this issue to my attention and I pledge to support them in their ongoing campaign against the incinerator."