Draft National Planning Policy Framework

Posted on September 7th, 2011 by Charles Boot

In late July the Government published its proposals for simplifying the planning system in England.

We are working through this complex document, and will be submitting a full response to Government in due course. However, it is clear that the proposed Framework contains some very worrying changes which have the potential to allow unchecked and damaging development on a scale not witnessed since the 1930s.

The policies are clearly designed to promote significant additional development in an attempt to stimulate the economy. While this is a legitimate objective for national planning policy, the planning system should not be seen solely as an engine for economic growth. A credible planning system must safeguard the needs of people and the environment (in the broadest sense) as well as the economy.

With a presumption in favour of permitting new development in “undesignated” areas of the countryside (all areas outside Green Belt, National Parks and AONBs) where the planning authority does not have a core strategy in place (and 47% of local authorities do not have a local plan in place); and a requirement for every local authority to identify an additional 20% of its land for development, historic landscapes, and particularly their settings, will be at unprecedented risk from harmful change.

We strongly support the campaign launched by the National Trust to win changes in the Draft Framework. The consultation period expires on 17th October, so time is short. Please consider adding your name to the Trust’s on-line petition to Government: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main

The text of the Draft National Planning Framework can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/1951811.pdf

It is also possible for individual GHS members to respond to the Government’s consultation. We would be very pleased if members’ responses could please be copied to the Office at Cowcross Street, or emailed to: enquiries@gardenhistorysociety.org

Jonathan Lovie, Policy Advisor

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