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Land Use Planning

The Land Use Planning Working Group acts to conserve the natural and historic environment by seeking improvements to the national planning system for the benefit of biodiversity, landscape and people. The Group works to ensure that the reform of the planning regime in England helps to deliver better protection and enhancement of the natural environment as a key component of sustainable development.

Chair: Victoria Bankes Price, Woodland Trust
Head of Policy and Campaigns: Dan Pescod, Link

Update from the group:

A key focus for the Group has been the new draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 5 March. The Group crafted a detailed response, welcoming some aspects of its content such as recognition of the need to protect ancient woodland.

Link members view the revised NPPF, published in July, as a “mixed bag”. We are now working to influence the guidance that will accompany the NPPF, to ensure it is implemented in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.

In October, the Group responded to two Government consultations which sought views on changing the planning rules in order to make it easier to grant planning permission for fracking: Permitted Development and the inclusion of fracking in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime.

In our responses we express concern both about the environmental impact of fracking in England (such as an increase in climate change-related emissions) and the potential bypassing of local democracy if the planning rules were changed as proposed.

Finally, the Group is looking at the landscape and implications for nature of the proposed Oxford-Cambridge expressway and associated plans to build a million new homes in the area between these two cities

For further information, contact Dan Pescod, Link’s Head of Policy and Campaigns.

Last updated: 6 November 2018