Positive approach to planning is unsustainable
- Local government ,
- Construction ,
Environment groups have lambasted the government's proposed approach to planning as not providing sufficient protection for the UK's green spaces.
The draft national planning policy framework (NPPF) cuts 1,000 pages of complex policy to just 56 pages of top-level guidance. At its centre is the government’s concept of a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”.
It makes economic growth crucial to sustainability, arguing that “without growth, a sustainable future cannot be achieved”. The framework clearly states that local authorities must take a positive approach to planning, with the default position being to “approve all individual proposals wherever possible”.
In launching a 12-week consultation on the NPPF, planning minister Greg Clark argued that the framework provides adequate protection for the natural environment, but others criticised the government’s pro-growth approach.
Friends of the Earth described the framework as a “developers’ charter” and Dame Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, warned that the proposed changes would turn the planning system on its head.
“There is a clear emphasis being placed on the approval of planning applications, with the risk that environment impacts will continue to be traded off against the potential for economic and social gains,” said executive director of policy Martin Baxter.
The CBI, however, said the NPPF shows that environmental sustainability is compatible with economic growth.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.
In R (on the application of National Farmers Union) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the claimant applied for judicial review of the Secretary's direction to Natural England concerning badger culling.