On the 16thJanuary 2019 Luton Borough Council’s Development Control Committee consented to Planning Application 16/01400/OUTEIA without properly considering the shortcomings of its own Development Framework (a Council’s Development Framework sets out the parameters of planning decision-making) that allows its planning decision-taking to be influenced by a Public Petition that was in this instance initiated by @saveourtownltn.

The use of a Public Petition is inappropriate for planning purposes because there is no way of knowing whether the petition’s signatories were coerced or bribed to sign the petition. Also, there is no way of knowing whether the petition’s claimed 10000 signatories are representative sample of Luton’s total population of 211228 people (ref: 2011 population census).

Finally, there is no way of knowing the ages of the petition’s signatories and therefore whether these signatories are old enough (currently General Data Protection Regulations Article 8 says signatories should be 16 years of age and no younger than 13 years of age), to have consented to have their personal data published.