Firstly, it is a totally stupid idea to give blanket approvals to developing brownfield land. Developers cannot just be allowed to build anything, proposals needs to be carefully examined and properly thought through.
In any case developing brownfield land is usually an unpopular option with developers, not because of the planning process but because it is more expensive.
Ministers talk about the greenbelt as if it applied to all countryside, which it doesn’t. Totally and deliberately misleading in my view.
The term greenbelt applies only to the countryside around the biggest cities in this country, such as London, Birmingham and Leeds.
There is no greenbelt in Devon.It is a relatively strong protection but the introduction of the national planning policy framework in 2012 has undoubtedly weakened it, as it has weakened protections for areas of outstanding natural beauty and the rest of our countryside.
The most risible quote of all in this article though is this: “Local people will still have control over planning.”
Planners should be allowed once again to plan properly again, without the fear of wealthy developers’ lawyers using the vagueness of the NPPF as a get rich quick scheme.
The biggest fattest untruth I have heard in a long time – and even more outrageous while announcing automatic approvals for brownfield sites!