Minister’s respone to constituents’ and my representations about planning

 

House of Commons

 

London

 

SW1A 0AA

 

Dear John

 

I would like to thank you for writing to me on behalf of your constituents conveying their

 

views during the consultation on the new National Planning Policy Framework.

 

We have read and considered seriously every contribution and I hope that you and they

 

will agree that the revised Framework, which we published today, has been strengthened

 

by the views which you conveyed.

 

Our reforms to planning policy have three fundamental objectives: to put power in the

 

hands of communities to shape the places in which they live; to help create the homes and

 

jobs the country needs; and to protect and enhance our natural and historic environment.

 

We have listened to, and taken on board, a number of sensible and practical suggestions

 

made during the consultation including:

 

Making it clear that the Local Plan is the basis for decisions in the planning system, and

that the presumption in favour of sustainable development works through, and not

 

against, the Local Plan;

 

Emphasising that the definition of sustainable development embraces social,

environmental and economic objectives, and that none can be pursued in isolation of

 

the others;

 

Clarifying that the relevant policies – such as those protecting the Green Belt, National

Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest –

 

cannot be overridden by the presumption in favour of sustainable development;

 

Being explicit that councils’ policies should encourage brownfield sites to be brought

back into use, provided they are not of high environmental value;

 

Recognising the intrinsic value and beauty of the countryside, whether or not it is

specifically designated;

 

Reinforcing the vital importance of town centres to thriving communities while

recognising that businesses in rural communities should be able to expand;

 

Allowing councils to give greater protection to back gardens;

Ensuring that playing fields cannot be built on unless they are replaced;

Strengthening the requirement for new buildings to be well designed.

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

 

Minister for Decentralisation and Planning

 

Department for Communities and Local

 

Government

 

Eland House

 

Bressenden Place

 

London SW1E 5DU

 

Tel: 0303 444 3459

 

Fax: 020 7821 0635

 

E-Mail: greg.clark@communities.gsi.gov.uk

 

www.communities.gov.uk

 

27 March 2012

 

In addition, we have agreed transitional arrangements with the Local Government

 

Association which ensure that a council which has adopted, or has made good progress in

 

preparing, a local plan will not be disadvantaged by the new approach, but that where no

 

local plan exists allows a sensitive and well-balanced decision to be made which reflects

 

the continuing requirements of the planning system to balance economic, social and

 

environmental objections.

 

Once again, I am grateful to you and to your constituents for the time and trouble you have

 

taken to help ensure that the planning system helps build the homes and provide the jobs

 

we need while protecting what we hold dear in our matchless countryside and in the fabric

 

of our history.

 

Yours ever,

 

RT HON GREG CLARK MP

 

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  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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