Planning Minister Greg Clarke has once again hit out at the National Trust for opposing the government’s planning reforms with an interview in the Financial Times.
In response we have said:
“Greg Clark and his colleagues at DCLG seem to think that greenbelts and other designated areas of countryside are all that anyone cares about. They are not, as the Government should have realised from the forestry debacle earlier this year.
“Our primary concern is what the government’s reforms threaten to do to the everyday places in and around cities, towns and villages that are hugely valued by local communities.
“To say we have a nihilistic view on housing is equally odd. We have developed hundreds of homes ourselves and have existing permission to build hundreds more on land that we own.
“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 local communities love. It has given the power in planning to the already powerful.
“Whilst the Government is making warm noises about local communities in practice the dice are heavily loaded to favour development and local people simply won’t get enough say.”