The Government’s proposals to reform the planning system would be bad news for the countryside and for the development of necessary local infrastructure according to an environmental pressure group.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is now calling on Ministers not to abandon strategic planning in their drive to forward the Government’s localism agenda.
While the CPRE supports the Government’s decision to scrap Regional Strategies - which it believed threatened to damage the countryside needlessly - the group is concerned that the new Local Enterprise Partnerships will be too narrowly focused to address broad strategic planning issues.
Gerald Kells, campaigns co-ordinator for CPRE, said: “We support the Government’s drive to give local people more say in the planning decisions that affect their area but some issues need to be looked at more strategically. It’s no good planning public transport only up to the local authority border, nor can every community consider suitable locations for housing provision or waste management in isolation from their neighbours. These decisions need to be looked at collectively if they are to deliver the most sensible outcomes.
“The Government has instigated a major review of the planning system and we can not afford, when flushing out the bad, to lose the baby with the bathwater.”