A petition calling for the Government to abandon changes to the planning system which opponents say could devastate the countryside has been backed by thousands of Midlanders.

The National Trust is campaigning against the National Planning Policy Framework alterations, and is collecting signatures in an online petition, signed by 62,000 local people.

Beccy Speight, Director for the National Trust in the Midlands said: “We believe in growth – but not at all costs. Planning for people combines long-term growth with other important things like local character and space to breathe, tranquility and beauty.

“The vast majority of the beautiful countryside in the Midlands is ‘undesignated’ – not an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Site of Special Scientific Interest or National Park– and therefore at risk from these proposals. We need a system that serves all our interests, from commerce to communities.”

For more information visit the website www.planningforpeople.org.uk