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  6. Clark meets with National Trust over NPPF

Clark meets with National Trust over NPPF

Planning minister Greg Clark has met with Fiona Reynolds of the National Trust as part of the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) consultation and offered further discussions to address points of concern.

Following the meeting a DCLG spokesperson said: "Planning minister Greg Clark had a useful meeting with Fiona Reynolds of the National Trust.

"Mr Clark said that he was confident that the objectives of the Government and the Trust were completely compatible - to ensure that the planning system is simplified and delivers sustainably the houses and jobs we need. He suggested sitting down with the Trust during the weeks ahead to consider in detail any specific concerns and suggestions that they have, and is committed to doing so.

"Mr Clark confirmed that, as it always has been, the role of the planning system continues to ensure that promoting growth is combined with safeguarding our natural and historic environment."

The Government also responded to concerns to the draft NPPF with an article in the Financial Times written jointly by Chancellor George Osborne and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Osborne and Pickles’ article claimed that planning delays cost the economy £3bn annually and that the planning system was “a deterrent to international investment and a barrier to the expansion of home-grown enterprise”.

They also highlighted a recent survey which they claimed showed that “a majority of the public support the idea of a simpler planning system and a presumption of favour of sustainable development”.

The article stressed that “the idea that presumption in favour means that growth will be able to take place wherever, whenever and however” is false.

Protections for the Green Belt, for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty continue.

The framework insists on high environmental standards and good design. Poorly-designed and poorly-located development is in no-one's interest”.

The ministers said: “Reforming a slow and inefficient planning system will be good news for the small business looking to expand, for the young family hoping for more affordable house prices and for the community wanting to decide on their own future.

“This is our opportunity to unlock the new investment and new jobs the country needs. We cannot afford to miss it”.

The National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have raised concerns about the government’s proposed new more succinct planning policy guidance.

View further information on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Roger Milne

8 September 2011