A number of senior Ministers, and even David Cameron, went even further today in the concessions they were prepared to make in regards to the National Planning Policy Framework, which has been the source of much debate over the past few weeks.
Speaking after a fringe meeting on the changes to planning rules yesterday, Bob Neill said: “Government is a learning process, we can improve things, we can improve the document…By the end of the year we will be in a very different place. We are genuinely prepared to listen to sensible improvements that have been made.”
Changes which are being considered include an 18 month “transition period” to give councils more time to draw up local development plans to protect areas from builders. Ministers are also looking at including a requirement that councils have to try to build on brown-field or previously developed sites. Another aspect being reconsidered is the requirement that forces councils to plan for enough housing to support five years of building.
Mr Neill said: “We want to reassure people. We are more than willing, without compromising the overall objectives in the policy, to sit down and find ways and means and phrases to spell out that.”
David Cameron also offered some hope, talking about us in an interview he said that the National Trust are simply “expressing their concerns…That’s their job and it’s our job to listen to their concerns.”
We and the 134,000 people that have signed our online petition, are all hoping that Mr Cameron and the rest of the Ministers remain true to their word and take the time to re-write the NPPF so that it does genuinely offers sustainable development.