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As the government announce major planning reforms, we criticise ‘pitiful’ aims and call for robust legal guarantees - CPRE

We raise concerns about the rules that control new building works and emphasise the need for community involvement.

Robert Jenrick, housing secretary, has today proposed changes to reform an ‘outdated’ planning system. The government says that the changes are intended to speed up the planning process and allow more building as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

But we at CPRE, the countryside charity, are raising queries about elements of the proposals, including the risks of community voices being lost in the process. The government’s Planning for the Future White Paper includes plans around potential zoning systems and spells out plans for more consultation and planning to take place digitally. But as Tom Fyans, our deputy chief executive, notes, bringing activity online can risk excluding some voices: ‘As things stand, the government seems to have conflated the ‘digitalisation’ of planning with democratic planning – they’re not the same thing.’

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