Telegraph – Back on the Front Page. Though the reports on some specific sites id dodgy so ive left those out.
Last night, campaigners warned that developers were “chomping at the bit” and said the countryside could suffer “irreparable damage” under the draft plans.
Fiona Howie, the head of planning at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “Developers are giving us a sign of what could be to come. Clearly some developers are looking to pre-empt the publication of the final NPPF and are chomping at the bit to make the most of the more damaging provisions that were contained in the draft document.”
Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative MP and David Cameron’s former environmental adviser, said: “If it [the Coalition] steamrolls through destructive changes to the planning system the Government will alienate millions of people.
“The fact that developers are already getting controversial projects through the system on the promise of a degraded planning system can only exacerbate concerns.”
Campaigners are hoping the strength of the opposition from a range of different environmental groups has forced the Government to recast the document so that it will no longer favour increased development over environmental concerns.
Miss Howie added: “If weak and ambiguous planning policies make it into the final NPPF, we could see a significant increase in attempts to overturn good local decisions, and far more development on greenfield land, rather than the re-use of brownfield sites.
“This would not seem to chime with the Government’s claims that they are seeking to promote sustainable development.
“We can only hope that ministers will have listened to the thousands of people who took part in last summer’s consultation, and improved the final document sufficiently to avoid a rash of appeals and dodgy decisions that could leave a long-lasting negative impact on both our urban and rural areas.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “The Planning Inspectorate is clear that the NPPF is still in draft and should be considered as such by inspectors. Our reforms will put planning power into the hands of local communities and deliver a simpler planning system that provides the sustainable development, homes and jobs that the next generation needs while protecting the environment and green spaces.”
A source added that the NPPF “will only become national policy when a final text is published”.
He added: “The final framework will be published by the end of March. We are not going to comment on speculation about its content ahead of publication.”