Press Release: Griff Rhys Jones denounces interpretation of national planning system

President of Civic Voice speaks out while on the BBC Daily Politics

Griff Rhys Jones, the President of Civic Voice, has (25th February) spoken on BBC Daily Politics out about the ambiguity of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Griff added ““To have a presumption in favour of brownfield sites is not the same as having a policy that brownfield sites should be built on first. It is obvious that housing on 'greenfield sites” generate much more profit for developers, but planning policy should not be about helping developers to profiteer. But to the man in the street, this is exactly what the National Planning Policy Framework is doing”.

Griff made his comments while appearing on the BBC Daily Politics as part of a debate on the planning system with John Howells MP, the author of Open Source Planning.

Griff added “Given the widely varying interpretation that different parties in the planning system can give to the word ‘presumption” it is making it much harder for local authorities to be able to refuse an application. The ambiguity is causing great uncertainty and is removing localism from planning.”

Civic Voice have said all along that there is no conclusive research that planning policy is a particular constraint on economic development and that 80% of planning applications are granted and less than 1% take more than a year to decide - the planning system is key to informed discussion about the kind of society we want to live in and the places we inhabit

Freddie Gick, Chair of Civic Voice finished by saying “.Our members have been informing us about situations where the NPPF is, in fact, undermining localism so we are pleased that the DCLG Select Committee will soon be undertaking a review. We will be submitting evidence to the review and meeting the committee. Communities who want to inform the civic movement response should share their experiences of the NPPF in their local area”.

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.

Further information
Ian Harvey .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T0151 707 4319/ 07877096968
T @civic_voice