Ignore scaremongering: new planning framework is about sustainability says CLA

28 October 2013

The CLA says that the overreaction surrounding the reform of the planning system is provoking ill-informed opposition to the "presumption in favour of sustainable development" proposed by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Considerable debate is taking place in the media, with many accusations that the NPPF is a charter to concrete over the countryside.

This is not the case, says the CLA, which believes that reform is long overdue and is about taking a balanced approach to planning applications.

The Association argues that the Government's proposal is for a simpler, more flexible system within environmental limits and calls for it to be given a chance.

CLA West Midlands director Caroline Bedell said: "CLA members live and work in rural areas and care deeply about their environment. But they also want a future for their families and neighbours so, to avoid being caught in a sustainability trap where economic development is next to impossible, we need to take a balanced approach to ensure our rural communities do not stagnate and die. We are delighted therefore that Government appears to recognise the importance of economic and social factors alongside environmental concerns. Our scenery does not manage itself.

"If the current unbalanced planning policy continues to stifle any development, the countryside and all it contains will not survive. That is not the environment anybody wants."