On 27 March 2012 the Government published their National Planning Policy Framework.
Valerie Vaz, MP for Walsall South, said:
“I am concerned that the Government’s new policy may lead to chaos and delay in the planning system. In my view the proposals are too weak on the use of brownfield land and will put Walsall’s limited Green Belt land at risk.
“The policy has been revised after demands to protect playing fields and revive the successful town centre first policy. But there are already more than 26% of shops vacant in Walsall and it is difficult to see how relaxing planning controls will help this situation and promote growth, jobs and investment in the town centre.
“In his Autumn Statement last year The Chancellor said that the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives are placing costs on British business, but another Government department, DEFRA, published a report on 22 March 2012 which finds this is simply not the case. These vital environmental safeguards are generally working well.
“We need a planning policy that encourages growth and jobs without putting at risk our valuable green belt land or causing unnecessary delay and confusion. It is important that local people’s concerns are taken into account and the Government should provide clearer guidance on how the transitions will work in practice.”
The new policy is available on the website of the Department for Communities and Local Government, and can be viewed by clicking here
You can read the DEFRA report by clicking here
Valerie’s Early Day Motion on the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives can be viewed by clicking here.