A successful Midlands company continually blocked by Bromsgrove District Council’s planning department and their negative interpretation of planning policy has launched a national petition aimed at highlighting the disparity between what Central Government is saying and what Local Government is doing. Oakland International Co-founder and Chief Executive, Dean Attwell, stated: “We have tried at every opportunity to engage with Bromsgrove District Council’s planning authority, even inviting their head of planning and regeneration, Ruth Bamford, to engage in a public debate, so we are left with no other course of action other than to exercise our democratic right to be heard by the nation and expose Bromsgrove District Council for what it is and the damaging impact it is having, on our economy, the environment and on our community.” By launching a national petition Oakland aims to expose the current planning policy lottery, negatively affecting many local communities across the country; restricting growth, stifling jobs and the long term survival of many UK businesses. In their own damning assessment of planning authorities, the Government places Bromsgrove District Council 336th out of 336 authorities nationally, and has put them in ‘special measures’ a new term created to describe the worst performing councils in the UK. A family owned multi-temperature food storage and distribution company, Oakland International employs 245 staff and is recognised as a top 100 local employer and ranked in the recent report from the London Stock Exchange as a top 1000 companies to Inspire Britain. Following a number of inaccurate and inflammatory comments in the past, and more recently in statements to the media from Bromsgrove Council’s head of planning, Oakland launched a website, www.plannersblockbusiness.co.uk and urged Ruth Bamford, amongst others, to review the content of the site in order to get a better understanding of the issues rather than simply hiding behind Green Belt Policy. To sign the petition and help reach the 100,000 signatures required to get this debated in Parliament visit (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124975) - you can also download Sam Ostler’s ‘Application Refused’ single via iTunes to show your support, with all proceeds going to benefit the underprivileged in Redditch and Bromsgrove via the Oakland Foundation charity, and you can follow their campaign on Twitter and Facebook.