Big changes are coming to the land use planning appeal system.

The Government announced this morning that the OMB is to be abolished. A new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will replace it giving "greater weight to the decisions of local communities".

Significantly, the Province will set up a Local Planning Appeal Support Centre

"mandated to provide free and independent advice and representation to Ontarians on land use planning appeals".

This will make a huge difference. At the moment the system is infested with lawyers, bogus experts and special interests with lay people frozen out and silenced - unless they can raise thousands of dollars to hire their own lawyers and planners.

The front page story in this morning's Toronto Star highlights the OMB's failings.

The whole system is totally broken.

Today's news is very good news indeed. It has been a long time coming.

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