Save our Countryside – update

Pic of countryside in danger

The clock is ticking. The government shuts its consultation on proposed changes to the planning system in just over a week.

Almost 100,000 38 Degrees members have signed the petition against the proposed planning changes. The more of us who sign the petition the more likely we are to change the government’s mind.

Here are some of the things journalists, experts and organisations such as the National Trust have been saying abou the government’s plans:

The chief executive of the National Housing Federation says: ‘there are serious dangers that these changes could let private developers off the hook in terms of delivering thousands of affordable homes on their developments.’

The new planning rules will scrap “section 106” agreements which provide half the 50,000 affordable new homes” according to Michael White.

The main cause of the housing crisis isn’t planning, it’s ‘the lack of money – thanks in no small part to the government’s decision to cut the affordable housing budget by 60%’ argues Caroline Lucas MP.

The National Trust has set out 10 ‘asks’ of the government on how the NPPF should be amended. These include:

  • The NPPF should adopt an explicit ‘brownfield first’ approach
  • It is fundamentally wrong that neighbourhood plans should be led and funded by business
  • The NPPF needs clarification of how planning should promote genuinely, robustly defined, sustainable development

George Monbiot, the Guardian journalist, points out “the framework’s new presumption in favour of sustainable development – by which the government means all development except coal-mining – will make it almost impossible to resist a developer’s proposal. It takes a system that is already unfair, unbalanced and undemocratic and makes it even worse”.

Under pressure from opponents of the planning reforms (including tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members), the planning minister Greg Clark has admitted that the proposals in the NPPF on brownfield land, housing targets and “sustainable development” could have been clearer.

The consultation period ends in just over a week – let’s keep up the pressure. If we work together to get more people involved in the campaign and more signatures on our petition, we can stop the government’s plans to sell off our countryside just as 38 Degrees members stopped them selling off our forests!

Please add your name to the petition, it only takes a minute, and then share this page with a friend:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countryside