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  6. Minister welcomes report on planning framework

Minister welcomes report on planning framework

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark has welcomed a Parliamentary report which acknowledged support for the Government’s aspirations for a streamlined planning system and recognised there was little appetite for a wholesale rewrite of the draft National Planning Policy Framework.

However, the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee called for changes to some wording in the draft NPPF.   

Clive Betts, chair of the all-party committee, said: “The way the framework is drafted currently gives the impression that greater emphasis should be given in planning decisions to economic growth. This undermines the equally important environmental and social elements of the planning system. As currently drafted the ‘default yes’ to development also carries the risk of the planning system being used to implement unsustainable development.”

Ministers have signalled that the report makes specific constructive suggestions including:

  • an expanded definition of sustainable development
  • standardising key terms - such as weight in decision making
  • emphasising the importance of the local plan
  • clarifying the expression of policy on brownfield land, offices in town centres and windfall sites.

The minister said: “I invited the Committee to make specific suggestions to the draft framework and am grateful for the practical and measured way they have approached the exercise.

"The Government will consider carefully each of the suggestions that have been made, along with all responses to the consultation.

"We are determined that the National Planning Policy Framework will put power into the hands of local people, through a simpler, clearer system, which safeguards our natural and historic environment while allowing the jobs and homes to be created that our country needs."

Read the DCLG news release.


Roger Milne

5 January 2012