Planning reforms consultation: CPRE ‘deeply concerned’
CPRE has given a decidedly cool response to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) prospectus consultation, which was published yesterday (Thursday, December 22).
Paul Miner, acting director of campaigns and policy at CPRE, the countryside charity, said: “We are deeply concerned that the government appears to be backsliding on promises it made just a few weeks ago to address concerns about an unprecedented trampling of local democracy via the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
“As things stand, ministers still appear set to appoint themselves extraordinary power to overrule Local Plans. National Development Management Policies would allow the Secretary of State to create, modify or revoke policy unilaterally and then decide who, if anyone, to consult about doing so. This centralisation of planning powers cannot remain unchecked.
“Following a backlash, the government said the undemocratic effect of its power grab was unintentional and promised to ‘clarify and consult’ on the policies. It is yet to do so. Instead, this consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework suggests they will seek to override local policies in most possible regards.
“Glimmers of promise include the reference to brownfield land. CPRE is calling on the government to use this refresh of the NPPF to finally bring in a genuine brownfield-first policy so we can make good use of our previously developed land – our latest research published earlier this week shows there’s enough of it to build 1.2 million homes.
“But other areas of weakness include the references to protecting high-quality farmland from development, which need to be much stronger. Overall, and considering the scale of the challenges facing the planning system, the government is in danger of squandering this golden opportunity to vastly improve our planning system.”
- You can see the consultation here