The Women’s Institute joined up today in our planning reform campaign, At the other end 22 leading businessmen joined the Government’s side in the planning reforms debate today. It didn’t come as much as a suprise following the revelations at the weekend that property development companies were in the government’s back pockets. Nor did their voice add anything new to the debate. They once again spectacularly missed the point. We do support development and a simplification of the planning process. We are however against a free-for-all in our countryside, and we don’t believe the current version of the NPPF can deliver environmental safety.
The Women’s Institute is joining the fight against the Government’s controversial changes to planning rules and is calling on its 208,000 members to write to their MPs and organise public meetings. This group possess a powerful grass roots base, and an active network that spreads up and down the country.
Fiona Reynolds, our Director General, today entered into a debate with Andrew Stunnel over the proposed planning reforms at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference (24 mins), arguing that our campaign is about more than the environment. It’s about pursuing sensible, good development, that benefits both our economy, and our countryside.
Britain’s “creaking” planning system is driving investors away and threatening economic recovery, a group of leading businessmen declare today… The National Trust, which has gathered 55,000 signatures against the reforms, accused the businessmen who signed the letter of having a vested interest. A spokesman said: “Planning should not be used as a tool to deliver economic growth. It should balance the needs of people, the environment and the economy. It’s obvious why these high-profile people, albeit in a personal capacity, have written the letter they have: they have a vested interest in freeing up planning so they can develop what they want.