Tuesday 26 July: National Trust Director General Dame Fiona Reynolds interviewed by Today programme

The National Trust is warning that government proposals to change planning laws in England favour business too heavily and could lead to unchecked and damaging development.

Dame Fiona Reynolds, the trust’s director general, and David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, discuss whether “major obstacles to growth” should be removed from planning policy.

Fiona Reynolds: “Both the tone and the words are sending a very different message that planning is to promote growth, not to protect the environment.”

Listen again to the interview.

Media round-up

National Trust concerns over planning move. The National Trust today voiced “grave concerns” over Government proposals aimed at dramatically simplifying the planning system, warning of “damaging development” not seen since the 1930s. Ministers said they wanted to slash 1,000 pages of policy to just 52, while continuing to protect the green belt and areas of natural or scientific beauty.

Out of town free-for-all: Planning law reform ‘is a threat to the countryside’. The National Planning Policy Framework document says: ‘Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development and approve all proposals where possible.’  It adds that retail and leisure centres should be built in town centres ‘where practical’. The plans are expected to make it easier for householders to redevelop properties without having to deal with red tape.

Government to hack back ‘thicket’ of national planning regulations. Ministers announce intention to cut ‘bloated’ rules as part of plan for business growth

 Draft national planning policy hails sustainable growth as “top priority”. The government yesterday published a new draft planning framework to support its “sustainable development” vision, although green groups quickly responded by warning  the proposals fail to adequately safeguard the environment.

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