‘We have a Planning Bill that looks set to take us back to a deregulated dark age of development’

Tom Fyans: ‘The government must urgently rethink the Planning Bill’

The Planning Bill highlighted in last week’s Queen’s Speech (Tuesday, May 11) has been blasted by CPRE, the countryside charity.
Tom Fyans, CPRE campaigns and policy director, said: “The Planning Bill looks set to prioritise developers’ needs over local communities, provide no new environmental safeguards and could slow the delivery of genuinely affordable homes in many areas. All in all, it risks creating a free-for-all for development.
“We know from painful experience that without the right checks and balances in the planning process, developments can lead to a huge and unnecessary loss of countryside while doing nothing to tackle the affordable housing crisis or level up.
“That’s why we urgently need more joined-up thinking from the government if we are to address the nature and climate emergencies. On the one hand, we’ve got the Environment Bill being touted as world-beating legislation to leave nature in a better state than we found it over the next 25 years. On the other hand, we have a Planning Bill that looks set to take us back to a deregulated dark age of development.
“The government must urgently rethink the Planning Bill. If not, we’re facing an open season for developers on large parts of the countryside, and a fatal weakening of local communities’ right to be heard on the future of their area.”

Monday, May 17, 2021