New laws will prevent the countryside being “despoiled by ugly development”, the Tory chairman has vowed in a message of reassurance to the shires.
“Of course, no government is perfect, but I’d like to think that at least we have the wisdom to listen to people and the humility to learn how we can do better,” he said.
“That’s why we are looking again at our planning reforms…. Yes, Britain’s growing population must have new houses but it’s clear that additional safeguards are needed.”
He continued: “We need to set out in law measures to protect our towns, villages and precious countryside from being despoiled by ugly development. Watch this space.”
Mr Dowden insisted that the Government’s proposals had been deliberately misconstrued by the opposition, however.
The Lib Dems have “shamelessly” stoked fears that overhauling the planning system will lead to “ugly and disproportionate development”, he said.
The party chairman stressed that his constituents in Hertsmere “would have a thing or two to say about it” if it were true, but added that ministers will legislate to prevent that outcome.
So no pause on beautiful development then?