Sunday 7 August: The Sunday Telegraph editorial

An extract from the editorial in today’s Sunday Telegraph.

“Will Britian remain green and pleasant?

…Sadly, serious consideration has not been the Coalition’s reaction. Bob Neill, the Local Government Minister, has accused both the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England of taking part in a Left-wing “smear campaign” merely because they oppose the new regulations. But there is nothing “Left-wing” about wanting to minimise development. On the contrary, Labour administrators have been notorious for their enthusiasm for concreting over large portions of the countryside.

No, the source of opposition is much more profound than any political ideology: it is the desire of local people to have a say over what happens to their communities and their surroundings. The Coalition promised to build planning policy around that aspiration. If that is indeed what it has done, ministers have nothing to fear: opposition to their reforms will melt away. But if its proposals turn out to be merely a variation on the old model of central control, then opposition will become very potent indeed. Ministers must tread with care.”

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