Government changes to planning laws face serious criticisms

Thursday’s debate in the Commons on Thursday about the government’s plans to centralise and accelerate the housebuilding process in England shows that they are going to face serious problems in getting their measures passed by their own supporters.

The debate which lasted just under three hours was organised by Conservative MP, Bob Seely, who introduced his non-binding motion on the Government which called “…on the Government to delay any planned implementation of the changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need proposed by the Government’s consultation, Changes to the Current Planning System, published on 6 August 2020, and Proposal 4 of the Government’s consultation, Planning for the Future, on a standard method for establishing housing requirement, until this House has had the opportunity to hold a debate and meaningful vote on their introduction.”

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The biggest shake-up of planning rules for decades – make your voice heard

We’ve just heard from the CPRE, the Countryside Charity, that MPs will be debating the government’s damaging proposals to deregulate planning on the morning of Thursday 8 October.  Events are moving fasts, so we need to be quick to react to opportunities like this. This debate is the perfect chance to put ministers on the spot and show them just how serious opposition to these damaging measures are.  

Please email Julian Smith MP now with your concerns and ask him to attend the debate. He can be contacted at: His office ‘phone number is 0207 219 7145.

The government is on shaky ground with this proposed legislation, the biggest shake-up of planning for decades. Almost 40,000 people have signed the CPRE petition opposing the damaging proposals, which will  weaken democratic involvement in local planning matters by giving developers automatic planning permission for some types of work. Thousands more have emailed MPs, so don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard.

England’s national parks fail to fight climate and nature crisis says report

National Parks are failing to step up to the climate change crisis according to a report launched today (2 October) and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Overall woodland cover across all national parks in England is less than 15% and several of England’s most iconic national parks (including the Yorkshire Dales) have lower woodland cover than our large cities.

Mapping by Friends of the Earth shows some national parks could have up to seven times more woodland than they currently do while important habitats, such as peatbogs, were found to be in worse condition in national parks than in the rest of England.

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Supporting Fridays for Future

Greta Thunberg addressed rally outside Sweden’s parliament in Stockholm as Fridays for Future resumed on 25 September. She told reporters that “The main hope is, as always to try and have an impact on the level of awareness and public opinion so that people will start to become more aware.”

The demonstration was one of some 2,500 climate change actions across the world aimed at restarting Fridays for Future protests that have been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. One such action was held in Skipton on Friday morning when supporters of Skipton and Dales XR rallied outside the town hall with posters and publicity in support of the Global Day of Climate Action. Supporters of ACE Settle and area linked up ‘virtually’ with the action between 10.00 a.m. and noon via zoom.

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