Of the summaries of the recently published National Planning Policy Framework that I’ve read, I like and broadly agree with the findings of this one published by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.
Whilst the Government appears to have listened to the many concerned voices raised in response to the draft document, the continued insistence on easing planning controls to promote growth remains a troubling key theme of reform and increasingly a political plaything.
The CPRE’s official response from Chief Executive Shaun Spiers is this:
‘We were very reassured that the Minister, Greg Clark recognised the intrinsic value of the ordinary countryside “whether specifically designated or not” and stated that the five principles of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy are included in the document. These were critical issues for CPRE. We are pleased the Minister appears to have listened to the strong public views, which mirrored our concerns.’
The CPRE article has a very useful Green, Amber, Red classification of the main areas of the NPPF. The traffic light designation is used to denote the CPRE’s level of concern. In summary, this shows approval in the areas of intrinsic value (of the countryside), local plans, light pollution and tranquillity, some concerns over the definition of sustainable development and any weakening of the levels of compulsion for developers to build on brownfield sites and then real concern over the Green vs growth debate and the housing pressure being placed on the planning system to provide a five year supply of housing land, plus an additional ‘buffer’ requirement of 5-20% on top of this.
Interesting stuff and certainly worth a read.