no u turn

Could the recent Draft National Planning Policy Framework result in another government U-turn similar to the Forestry?

There is a lot of coverage in the press at the moment regarding the Draft National Planning Policy Framework which seeks to simplify the complex planning laws that the government says are strangling development.

That is good isn’t it?
Well not according to various outdoor organisations. Groups such as the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have made their opinions felt. On 1st Sept Ramblers release a statement…

As the government turns its “Red Tape Challenge” focus to the environment today (1 September) the Ramblers warns that attempts to sweep away entire Acts dedicated to protecting the environment would not only make “greenest government” claims a farce but will also be heavily resisted

Tom Franklin, Ramblers Chief Executive, said:

“Describing huge swathes of environmental law which is dedicated to protecting our countryside, the air we breathe and the places where we walk and live as ‘red tape’ makes claims of a ‘greenest government’ seem like a farce.

“The public reaction to the forestry sell-off shows how much, as a nation, we value our natural environment and our liberty to access and enjoy it.

“The laws to open up our countryside and ensure that it is protected have been hard fought for and any attempt to remove this framework will be resisted. I encourage everyone who cares about the environment, our green spaces and our ability to access them, to tell the government not to strip away these important laws like red tape.”  read on…

The National Trust had a  meeting with  the government on 7th Sept. to argue the Coalition should scrap its controversial new planning guidelines as opposition anger continues at the proposals.

The Daily Telegraph launched the Hands Off Our Land campaign to urge ministers to rethink the proposals, joining the National Trust, English Heritage and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England in opposing the plans.

Planning minister Greg Clark said clarity over planning had become “lost in translation”, adding:”We need a simpler, swifter system that is easier to understand and where you don’t need to pay for a lawyer to navigate your way around.
Clark said the proposals set out national planning policy more concisely, and in doing so make clearer the importance of planning to safeguarding our extraordinary environment and meeting the needs of communities, now and in the future.
We now want to hear the thoughts of councils, communities and businesses on the draft Framework and work together to get the planning system right for generations to come.”

The 12-week consultation closes on 17 October and the department is committed to adopting the framework by April 2012


Rohan Heritage

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