Johnson’s planning laws an ‘utter disaster’, say countryside campaigners

The BBC and the Guardian have reported that the Government has confirmed that MPs will vote on a controversial overhaul of England's planning system within the next year

The Planning Bill - announced at the Queen's Speech - aims to stop local opponents blocking development in designated "growth zones"

Ministers said the plan would make it easier to hit house-building targets, but critics said it would sideline locals - with one rural charity warning of a "free for all for development".

Conservative MPs and councillors have raised serious concerns about plans to change the planning system, cautioning the proposals could lead to substandard homes in the wrong places, with local views being overlooked or ignored.

Theresa May MP (Con) argued the plans would "reduce local democracy" and lead to "the wrong homes being built in the wrong places".

Countryside charity CPRE also called for a rethink on the Planning Bill, saying it would lead to "open season for developers on large parts of the countryside".

But the Country, Land and Business Association (CLA) said it welcomed the Government's recognition that the planning system needed modernising, maintaining that the countryside had been "treated like a museum" for too long, and "held back by an outdated system that has frustrated economic growth". The CLA added: "Rural poverty will only be eased and opportunity only created if we allow landowners to invest in their communities."

The Rural Services Network recognised this as a key area of contention for rural communities when the Planning White Paper was released.

As stated in our formal response to Government, the RSN believes that these are the three most important priorities for planning in local areas:

    • Increasing the Affordability of Housing
    • Supporting the Local Economy
    • More or better Local Infrastructure

It is vital that any changes introduced by the Government, will consider these three areas in the development of any new planning system to ensure that rural areas are not left behind when levelling up across the country.

Full articles:

The BBC - Government pushes Planning Bill forward as critics question 'free for all'

The Guardian - Johnson’s planning laws an ‘utter disaster’, say countryside campaigners


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