Hasty planning reform
SIR – As a broad coalition of planning, heritage and environmental organisations, we are united in our vision for what is needed to deliver affordable, good-quality homes, while protecting our precious green spaces, and putting local people at the heart of decision-making.
The planning system needs careful, sensible reform rather than the major, hurried and untested changes set out in the Government’s planning White Paper, which is akin to demolishing the whole house just to mend the roof.
The planning system may not be perfect, but we urge the Government to rethink its White Paper, as it is not the answer to boosting economic growth post-coronavirus. Nine in 10 applications are already approved by councils, and the 10 biggest developers have more than 400,000 plots in their land banks. Hundreds of thousands of homes that could be built are not.
Ministers should invest in an evidence-led planning system that is empowered to meet the Government’s environmental, social and economic objectives.
Chairman, Association of Local Environmental Records Centres
Chief Executive, Badger Trust
Conservation Director, Buglife
Chief Executive, Campaign for National Parks
Executive Director, Council for British Archaeology
Dr James Robinson
Director of Conservation, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Chief Executive, Campaign to Protect Rural England
Senior Planner, Friends of the Earth
Policy Director, Greenpeace UK
Chief Executive, Heritage alliance
General Secretary, Open Space Society
Interim CEO, Ramblers
Director of Campaigns, SumOfUs
Policy Director, Town and Country Planning Association
Chief Executive, the Bat Conservation Trust
Chief Executive Officer, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
Executive Director, Civic Voice
Chief Executive, The Rivers Trust