Help save local democracy and our ability to shape the future of where we live – CPRE Hampshire responds to the Government’s Planning White Paper

9th October 2020

The Government is currently consulting on the largest overhaul of the planning system in over 70 years. Nationally and locally in Hampshire, CPRE has a number of major concerns with the proposed reforms and has convened a coalition of over 40 housing, planning and environmental organisations in opposition to the White Paper.

CPRE has a long history of engaging with planning policy since the organisation was founded in 1926, and its vision is for the countryside and green spaces to be accessible to all, rich in nature and to play a crucial role in responding to the climate emergency. A healthy and democratic planning system is crucial to delivering that vision, but CPRE believes these damaging changes threaten our ability to shape the future of where we live.

Carole Oldham, CPRE Hampshire Trustee and Chair of its Planning and Policy Group says, ‘The major concerns we have with the Government’s Planning for the Future White Paper include loss of local democracy, housing affordability and access to green space.

The Government has put forward a series of radical proposals to address what they see as an outdated and ineffective planning system. Whilst there are some aspects we believe are promising, and the planning system is without doubt in need of improvement, we do not accept the fundamental premise that it is the cause of an affordability issue in housing.’

CPRE Hampshire is finalising its detailed response to the Planning for the Future White Paper consultation which closes on 29th October 2020. The charity has produced a summary for its members and the public to help with their own responses and has shared this with all town and parish councils in Hampshire.

In its summary document, CPRE Hampshire highlights a series of concerns with the proposals, including:

  • Significant and worrying loss of local democracy
  • Impact on development of affordable housing
  • The aim to streamline and speed up the planning process by zoning ALL land into one of three categories
  • Failure to address the issue of the gap between permissions and completions, the Build Out rate
  • Mandatory top down housing targets
  • Impact on Neighbourhood Plans
  • Very limited acknowledgement to the climate change emergency
  • Dangerous proposals to introduce new settlements under Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) proposals
  • Proposals to introduce huge amount of new digital technology into the planning system
  • The introduction of National Development Management Policies and Design Codes
  • Proposal to abolish Sustainability Appraisals
  • Replacement of the Community Infrastructure Levy and the current system of planning obligations with a nationally set value-based flat rate charge

CPRE Hampshire highlights that the public can help influence the planning reforms in a number of ways, including by: writing to your local MP, adding your views to the consultation (www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future) and signing CPRE’s petition (www.takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/66589/petition/1?locale=en-GB). The petition to stop the government deregulate planning has to date attracted almost 40,000 signatures.

CPRE Hampshire wrote to all Hampshire MPs last month about the proposed planning reforms and has met with several local MPs and plans to meet with more over the coming weeks, to ensure they understand the unintended consequences of the proposals.

CPRE Hampshire responded to the Government’s first consultation, Changes to the Current Planning System in September, and you can find a summary and full response on the charity’s website.

To help CPRE Hampshire campaign for a planning system that empowers local communities and helps make sustainable, liveable places, join as a member or sign up for our free newsletter: visit www.cprehampshire.org.uk.

Read our Planning for the Future – October 2020 newsletter.

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