Planning system overhaul

The government will publish reforms to the planning system, which will make it easier to get consent for large-scale projects. Conservation and countryside groups are opposed to the plans amid fears they would lead to a return to urban sprawl.

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Charities cautiously welcome Greg Clarke's speech

Charities opposed to the relaxation of planning laws have cautiously welcomed the National Planning Policy Framework:

Greenpeace: planning reforms are flawed

Greenpeace has reacted to the Government's reform of planning laws with this warning:

There is a flawed assumption behind thisassault on the planning system by George Osborne – he thinks that we can boostthe economy by uprooting decades of protection for the natural habitat and thecountryside. This is misguided, dangerous and wrong, and appears to bebased on little more than some private, cosy chats he has had with bigdevelopers.

– ruth davis, greenpeace

CBI: planning reforms 'not an invitation to concrete over Britain'

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said that future generations will be thankful for today's reform of the planning system in the UK:

Having a presumption in favour of sustainable development gets the balanceright between supporting jobs and growth, and serving the interests of the environment and society. The new framework hands the responsibility back to local communities to decide where new homes, businesses and infrastructure to support them should be built...Let’s be clear, this is not an invitation to concrete over Britain, as some would have us believe. For too long, our planning regime acted as a drag on growth,and this framework lets people decide the future for themselves.

– John Cridland, Director General, CBI


Planning reforms 'biased in favour of developers'

The head of the National Trust has said that, if draft legislation is anything to go by, the Government's reforms to the planning system will mean that developers always win over other interests. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

The first [draft] planning document effectively biased the system in favour of anyone who wants to build something. They would win on appeal because the Government said it wants to prioritise growth.

– Sir Simon Jenkins, chairman, national trust
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