Yesterday the Government published their National Planning Policy Framework from the Department of Communities and Local Government, containing planning guidance for local authorities and the reaction to this amongst all environmental groups has been uniformly negative due to the presumption in favour of development seemingly without considering the costs to the environment or the people who live in the area.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Paul de Zylva said:

“The right planning decisions are crucial to protect our green and pleasant land – but Ministers have come up with a developers’ charter which puts the interests of business ahead of people and the environment.

“Behind some nice buzz words the planning system is now so loaded in favour of building projects that it puts local communities and environmental protection in jeopardy.

“The Government must radically rewrite its policy and the Localism Bill to ensure we build a safe, green future that cuts carbon, protects wildlife and benefits people.”

The government are now consulting on this framework until 17th October, 2011. If you wish to find out more about the National Planning Policy Framework along with other key elements of their planning reforms, such as Neighbourhood Planning there is an event in Birmingham on September 13th. See the CLG website for details.

To read more about the reaction to the NPPF from other groups, there is an article in The Guardian.