The principle function of government should be to serve the public good. It should be to look out for the public interest in governmental dealings.
It's seems that these days, government is serving as the strong arm for big business and private interests.
Government should defend the public, and the interests of the public, against contrary private interests.
Government should not act as a facilitator for the advancement of special and private interests.
What is the public interest? How about sustainability? How about equity and fairness? How about employment opportunity and prosperity for all who desire such? How about decent living standards? How about protection from poverty/ hunger / houselessness...? How about natural areas and ecology? How about education and nutritious foods? How about health care? How about peace, justice and nonviolence? These things are in the public interest. If private interests undermine, or seek to undermine, public - or any member of the public's - access to these things, then it is the job of government to step in and do its job! regulate!
I want to add that not all private projects or developments are bad. Some private developments are bad, however, and it is important to be critical of them in that case. The public interest supersedes private interest.