Saturday 3 September: First signs of a U-turn? Senior aide says “particular aspects” could be addressed – A media round-up

Faux concilliatory noises coming out of Government today with Greg Clark saying “particular aspects” could be addressed if groups such as the National Trust felt they were unclear. He also denied that a full scale U-turn could be on the cards.

Front page: “In a dramatic shift of tactic, designed to call a truce with the National Trust and other groups, the Planning Minister has said that he is prepared to sit down and discuss their demands.”

Minister denies shift on planning policy proposals. The government has denied it is considering a U-turn over controversial proposals to alter the planning system. Planning minister Greg Clark said the changes in Englandwere “absolutely crucial” but he also agreed to talk to opponents of the proposals. He said “particular aspects” could be addressed if groups such as the National Trust felt they were unclear.

Bill Bryson joins fight in countryside planning row.  Bryson told the Observer he was deeply concerned by the direction of policy. “The government’s good intentions risk being undermined by the talk of economic growth at any cost,” said the American writer, who champions the English countryside and is president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). “We are deeply worried to learn that environmental laws are regarded as red tape and that the planning system might be weakened to allow for more development.”

There was also an interesting blog posted on the Guardian webiste titled: ‘How the Conservatives lost touch with their rural grassroots’ – which states that Labour have ‘become the party of the shires’.

Planning reforms will lead to more wind turbines. Experts say more than 4,500 turbines will be built to meet the Government’s climate change targets as it adopts “a presumption in favour of sustainable development”.


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