03 MAY 2018
People at the Heart of Planning
Thank you very much for taking the time to email me.
I have already met with TotSoc and other campaign and local neighbourhood planning groups to discuss the importance of preserving as much of our natural environment as possible whilst recognising that we do not have enough affordable homes for people to live in, including in this part of the country.
For my part I will be making direct representations based on views shared with me that we need to make sure the NPPF recognises the precious environments of AONBs and National Parks and the way that areas like the South Hams are so adversely impacted by second home ownership and the lack of genuinely affordable housing. One size does not fit all.
I understand your concern about AONBs and as you may know a consultation is currently running on the draft NPPF and I strongly recommend you share your views. You can view the consultation via the following and it closes on the 10th of May:
In addition, I hope the following information on this topic from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is of interest:
The proposed revisions to the NPPF, which the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has publicly "welcomed", address concerns about planning policy. The revised NPPF gives further clarification to the existing strong protections for the Green Belt. It sets out the steps which a local planning authority must take before concluding that "exceptional circumstances" exist to allow boundaries of the Green Belt to be altered. The revised NPPF reaffirms protections for areas of outstanding national beauty and national parks.
The draft NPPF will also introduce a new standardised approach to assessing housing need which help to ensure that new homes are delivered in areas of high demand. The revised NPPF sets out the need to prioritise the use of brownfield land and the importance of delivering more affordable housing. Furthermore, like the CPRE, the draft NPPF "clarifies the primacy of local and neighbourhood plan policies in determining planning applications".
The reforms to planning outlined in the draft NPPF will help address the housing crisis, building on the progress which the Government has already made, including delivering more than 1.1 million homes since 2010.
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