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National Planning Policy Framework
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on March 27th. It contains statements such as "planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss". The full document can be downloaded below.
As the National Trust is now saying, “Of course only time will tell how the new rules will work in practice. We'll watch what happens next very closely, to ensure that local plans are now put in place. Everyone has a part to play in this – only by getting involved can we hope to deliver what we want and need where we live and work”.
National Planning Policy Framework 27th March 2012, 890 Kb
Recent history of the Planning Framework
The consultation on the Draft NPPF ended on October 17th 2011. A public outcry similar to that over the government’s intention to sell off the public forests turned on these proposals. Planning is a complex subject. I was able to do no better than give a link to the Woodland Trust's excellent guidance on responding to this unsatisfactory, at best, and highly suspect and dangerous, at worst, series of intentions by the coalition government.
The National Trust and the Woodland Trust have been at the forefront of the campaign to persuade the government to recognise the importance of trees and open spaces by including strong protection for them in the final version of the planning framework for England. For London, the London Forum of Civic and Amenity Societies responded with a London‐specific response. Andrew Lainton’s re‐write of the Draft NPPF is the result of his thoroughgoing examination of the document.
This is not just a matter of the countryside but of trees in towns and cities, too. We must continue to campaign to preserve our heritage trees and open spaces, many of which do not have the protection of being in a Green Belt or ‘designated’ for protection under other schemes.
Consultation Response submitted by the National Trust
Consultation Response submitted by the London Forum
Read Sir Simon Jenkins’s lecture, ‘Trust for the Future’
Read Andrew Lainton’s Proposed alternative draft of the NPPF
Guidance on response to the NPPF consultation, Woodland Trust