Civic Voice has submitted its recommendations to the government ahead of the localism bill. Its four-point plan includes calls for greater control of changes of use in high streets.
The charity also wants stronger enforcement and has called on the government to stick to proposals for collaborative community-led plans for neighbourhoods. It also calls for a community right of appeal against schemes that do not confirm to a local plan.
Director Tony Burton said: "It's more than simply encouraging people to get involved. They need safeguards and the right to appeal against contradictory planning decisions."