National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 09:30 PM BST
Contributed by: Peter Bloyce
A further threat to our Environment – Comment now!
Closing date 17th October
During July the Government published its draft NPPF for public consultation. This could represent the biggest shake-up in planning for over 50 years and many organisations, including the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), National Trust (NT) and Friends of the Earth, believe this is a major threat to the countryside.
Developers have welcomed this document and have lobbied the Government for changes by pointing to their own research which blames planning laws as a barrier to growth in the UK. Like many, SOLVE cannot see why the planning system is held up as an obstacle to growth now when the current planning laws have been protecting the countryside for over 50 years with no discernable effect on growth either way.
Unfortunately, with the document as written, developers only need to show that their proposals will deliver growth. The assumption of a default ‘yes’ to sustainable development will have devastating impact on the environment and greenfield areas.
The draft NPPF puts economic growth above people and the countryside. It appears to negate any gains the Localism Bill will give us. It will make our task of protecting the Loddon Valley extremely difficult.
SOLVE urges our supporters to respond to the Consultation which ends on 17th October 2011.
We would recommend that you send either a personal email or letter to the address on the Department for Communities and Local Government website.
Individual letters in your own words have the greatest impact and you should receive a reply if you ask for one. Some points you may wish to put in your letter/email are:
- Remove the presumption in favour of development
- A much clearer definition of “sustainable development” is required since there is scarcely an acknowledgement of wildlife needs, landscape or the environment
- Ensure there is a proper balance in emphasis between environmental protection, social needs and economic growth
- Economic growth should not be at the expense of the countryside and environment
- Remove the changes which allow Greenfields to be built on before brownfield sites
- Under these proposals 'Localism in planning' becomes meaningless since local authority planning that reflects local views would easily be overturned on appeal
- Infrastructure deficits such as Water and Transport are not given enough emphasis and could not be used as a basis for refusal
- Join the campaigns to change these proposals. For further background information see what the opponents of these changes say.
National Trust - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-planning-landing.htm
NT Petition -http://nationaltrust.polldaddy.com/s/developing-for-people-not-profit
CPRE - http://www.cpre.org.uk/
The following quotes from these organisations are worth reprinting here.
Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman National Trust
“It is a repeat of our experience with forests and the attempted dismantling of the heritage quangos. A commendable attempt to clear decks and get down to basics is hijacked by lobbyists for their own gain. As so often under the present government, ministers inexperienced in the ways of power, fail to see the consequences of what they propose. We intend to make them see.”
Shaun Spiers, CPRE Chief Executive
“The new framework will make the countryside and local character much less safe from damaging and unnecessary development. If it is not amended, there will be battles against development across the country that will make the public revolt against the sale of the forests look like a tea party.”
Fiends of the Earth – “The planning system did not lead to the collapse in the financial system, or the collapse in the housing market. But the planning system is being appropriated to drive unsustainable, poor quality growth of a certain type forward. This will be at the expense of communities and the environment.”
Peter Bloyce, SOLVE