Our debate on the ‘future of planning in England’ provoked a lively discussion – in the room and online – during our National Trust AGM in Nottinghamlast Saturday.
Up for debate
Our expert panel – William Worsley, President of CLA, and Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of CPRE – set out their opposing stances on the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system. This was our motion, which circulated on Twitter too:
This meeting believes the proposed planning reforms are a threat to the countryside in England
Passionate about planning
So, although the consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England has now closed, planning remains front of mind for the National Trust.
Members at our AGM voted to carry our motion by an overwhelming majority. An additional show of hands revealed the vast majority of National Trust members present supporting our strong stance in the planning debate.
Read how our Director-General, Dame Fiona Reynolds, has taken this to heart:
“We are proud of our detailed response to the Government’s consultation and the voice we have raised on behalf of people concerned about their local landscape. But our campaign doesn’t stop there. We have to do everything we can to make sure the Government delivers a planning system for England which is fit for purpose.
“That means a planning system which:
- delivers better places to live and work and an enhanced quality of life for all;
- meeting our needs for housing, jobs and green spaces
- while also protecting our environment;
- and delivering for the long as well as the short term.
“In fact, smart, sustainable growth offers an exciting vision for the future. It’s therefore incredibly disappointing to hear Government Ministers still talking about planning as a brake on progress, the need to ‘unblock the system’ to deliver economic growth and a target for deregulation. We need better planning, not a deregulated free for all.
“With the number of signatures on our petition now up to nearly 225,000, and the strong support of our members at the AGM, we are re-energising our efforts to get the right outcome.”
Why are we continuing our Planning for People campaign?
Take a look at the Prime Minister’s comment in FT on Monday 31 October:
“Too often projects get hobbled by planning restrictions, funding blockages or regulatory burdens. So this autumn the government is on an all-out mission to unblock the system and get projects under way.”
Now that’s why we’re still worried…