Civic Voice welcomes review into national planning system

Civic Voice – the national charity representing 75,000 individual members from across England – – today welcomed the announcement that the DCLG Select Committee is to review the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Dr Freddie Gick, Chair of Civic Voice, said;

“I am pleased to hear that the Select Committee will be focusing attention on the NPPF. We agree that we need more housing but we have found that the NPPF has failed to put communities at the heart of the planning system. The civic movement – the largest volunteer participant in the planning system – campaigned for significant changes to the original NPPF document and said at the time that not providing councils with more time to adopt Local Plans in place in line with the NPPF was always going to see huge issues for communities. The consequence has been to put many communities at greater risk of speculative development”.

The DCLG Select Committee has announced that a review will start immediately with the committee asking interested parties to submit evidence on the impact of the planning changes.

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Select Committee said:

“Development is vital – to delivering much-needed homes, maintaining thriving town centres, and providing the county’s energy needs. But good planning is essential to ensure that development is sustainable, and that it strikes a balance between social, environmental and economic factors. My Committee wants to hear about the contribution the National Planning Policy Framework has made to effective planning since its launch in 2012. Up and down the country, civic groups make an important contribution to the planning process. We want to know how the NPPF has affected them. I therefore encourage Civic Voice members to contribute to the inquiry.”

Dr Gick finished by saying:

“Our members from Newcastle to Newquay have been informing us about situations where the NPPF is, in fact, undermining localism. We will be submitting evidence to the review and meeting the committee. I would now ask all communities who want to contribute to our response to start informing us of their experiences of the planning system in their local area.”