The Department for Communities and Local Government responds to incorrect claims by the National Trust that reforms of the planning system will lead to unchecked and damaging development.
This is plain wrong. The draft policy framework fulfils the commitment in the coalition agreement to protect the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are similarly strong protections for the historic environment, which have been welcomed by heritage bodies. These protections are crystal clear in the document.
In fact the policy framework gives communities a brand new opportunity to protect those green spaces outside of the Green Belt that are of particular special value to the community.
There is a strict test that all new growth must be sustainable. Where it is consistent with environmental objectives - including maintaining the Green Belt - proposals should proceed without delay.
These reforms allow local people to participate in planning. Having 1000 pages of planning policy made policy less clear and excluded communities.