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:

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From @gregclarkmp’s announcement it sounds like there’s been some progress on #NPPF…Waiting to see final doc. #planning4ppl

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Initial quick reading of #NPPF suggests Ministers have listened to the critics of last year's draft. We now need to study the details

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

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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

Setting of Watership Down at risk from developers

by - Deputy Political Editor
Sandleford Park, south of Newbury in Berkshire, is the setting for Watership Down.
Sandleford Park, south of Newbury in Berkshire, is the setting for Watership Down. Credit: ITV News

Sandleford Park, the setting of Watership Down, is perhaps the quintessential cautionary tale about the risks of development.

The 1972 book follows a group of rabbits who are forced to abandon their warren when developers move in.

Now it seems as though the tale may be coming true, as the setting for the rabbit's warren is under threat from developers who want to build 2,000 homes here.

The book's author Richard Adams is opposed to the development.

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