Review Of Planning Permission On Its Way!
Osborne and Pickles defend planning system changes
Chancellor George Osborne has defended the government's controversial plans to change the planning system in England.
In a joint Financial Times article with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, he writes: "No-one should underestimate our determination to win this battle."
Mr Osborne and Mr Pickles say reform is "key to our economic recovery".
Ministers want to simplify rules to boost house-building and business. Critics say developers may become too powerful and urban sprawl could result.
Mr Osborne and Mr Pickles insist protections for the green belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will remain.
A consultation is under way on the Draft National Planning Policy Framework, which streamlines policy of more than 1,000 pages to just 52 and features a presumption in favour of "sustainable development".
This is our opportunity to unlock the new investment and new jobs the country needs.
The article says "answers to proposals for responsible, careful growth should be 'yes' unless there are strong reasons to the contrary".
The ministers argue that sticking with the current planning system "puts at risk young people's future prosperity and quality of life".
"No-one should underestimate our determination to win this battle. We will fight for jobs, prosperity and the right protection for our countryside," they say.
"Reforming a slow and inefficient planning system will be good news for the small business looking to expand; for the young family hoping for more affordable house prices; and for the community wanting to decide on their own future.
"This is our opportunity to unlock the new investment and new jobs the country needs. We cannot afford to miss it."
Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, writes in the Telegraph that dropping the requirement for brown field sites to be developed before green field sites is driven by economic concerns rather than sustainability.
But the Observer's editorial supports changes saying "sometimes, the nation's quality of life has to come before the interests of the few".
Philip Hensher argues in the Independent that opponents assume new houses will be ugly. He urges more beautiful buildings in the countryside.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has said it intends to transform a system who’s "volume and complexity have made planning increasingly inaccessible to all but specialists".
But the National Trust objects to the plans, saying they "failed to protect the everyday places that local communities love".
The Campaign to Protect Rural England has said the government needs "to listen and make further improvements or the consequences for the English countryside and the character of our towns and villages will be grave".
"Labour is in favour of sustainable development - but what the Tory-led government are offering is a downgrading of the rules which protect our natural environment." Says a labour spokesperson.
Greengates Builders Merchants Says “anything that gets building up and running again has to be good”.