The revised framework with toned down version, of sustainable development and green belt protection in the countryside, has been broadly welcomed by the detractors of the Planning Policy.
The planning minister Greg Clarke has said that a presumption should be there against any development of out of town shopping centers and that the ‘green belt’ needed to be protected.
The biggest revamp of The National Planning Policy Framework in five decades is to replace more than 1,000 pages of planning rules put in place by successive governments with a single, 50-page document for a simplified system which brought in more houses and other developments while creating employment.
The new guidelines are built around a “presumption in favour of sustainable development, where it was emphasized that a balance was maintained between environment, economic sustainability, social needs, good governance and sound science.
The draft document of last year has been amended to please the campaigners who were against the framework. Now the Brownfield sites would be built before any development on the Greenfield sites and town centers shall be developed before any out of town centers.
The revised framework acknowledges the value and beauty of the countryside, by specifically protecting the playing fields and disallows any developments on the gardens.
But answering MPs’ questions after his statement, Clark went further in defining “sustainable” when he said having a shopping center outside the town was not sustainable’ building on the green belt was not sustainable, – the protected land around urban centres intended to prevent suburban spread out.
Officials later said such developments should only go ahead in exceptional circumstances.
Different housing and campaign organizations have welcomed the revised framework significant being the most important declaration of support by the charity, National Trust, which organised a petition of nearly a quarter of a million people against the draft, which was welcomed by its director general Dame Fiona Reynolds, saying that the changes improved the document and gave it a better tone and balance.
Under the framework, local councils will have a year to prepare local plans pointing out developing sites and proposals within the plans should be approved without delay. Where plans are absent, silent or outdated developments would be approved after considering damages and benefits and any proposals in conflict with the plans will be discarded.