The Department responds to CPRE claims reported in the Sunday Times that the Government’s planning reforms will result in more development on Green Belt and greenfields.
Here are five facts showing why these claims are wrong.
Fact one: Strong protections remain in place in the draft Framework to protect the Green Belt, countryside and other green spaces valued by communities from unacceptable development. The Government is removing the pressure on councils to build on the Green Belt by scrapping regional strategies which imposed top down targets on local areas.
Fact two: Development is encouraged on brownfield land in the draft Framework. It states that ‘plans should allocate land with the least environmental or amenity value’, which means choosing derelict land when considering where to develop.
Fact three: Local people will be in charge of decisions on which development proposals to accept and which areas to protect through their Local Plans. Under the previous system these plans could be overridden by the instructions of regional agencies.
Fact four: The presumption is not a green light for development. All proposals will need to demonstrate their sustainability and be in line with the strict environmental protections in the draft Framework.
Fact five: The draft framework is not new legislation; it will only become national policy after the consultation period, when a final text, taking account of responses, will be published. Inspectors have not been instructed to use the framework when considering planning appeals. Ministers and the inspectorate are clear that the framework is a draft.