Friday 5 August: Trust mobilises membership in response to planning threat

The National Trust is seeking to mobilise its membership in response to the government’s planned reforms of the planning system inEngland.

The reforms, published in the draft National Planning Policy Framework last week, could lead to unchecked and damaging development ongreenfieldsites in and around towns, cities and villages.

Fiona Reynolds, the charity’s Director-General, is writing to the Trust’s 3.7 million members who live in England, asking them to sign the petition at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/planning.

An expected 600,000 visitors to the Trust’s 272 properties inEnglandover the next five weeks of summer will also have the opportunity to support the petition.

“The government is making warm noises about local communities, but in practice the dice are heavily loaded to favour development and local people won’t get enough say,” said Peter Nixon, Director of Conservation at the Trust.

“The National Trust believes in growth as we all do – but not at any cost. As a charity that owns land, we have been involved in developing homes, businesses and other commercial opportunities ourselves.

“We believe strongly that any development must meet the needs of people, the environment as well as the economy.

“The government has failed to do this in its reforms. It has put short term financial gain ahead of everything else. It has failed to protect the everyday places that communities love. Power in planning goes to the powerful.

“Already more than 1,000 people have signed the petition to get the government to re-think its proposals because they see that this is a major threat to everyday places we all love.”

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