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What future for Sussex under central government planning reforms?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 09:10

CPRE Sussex Futureproofing Conference 23 March

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Saturday 23rd March will see Nick Herbert MP for Arundel and the South Downs talk to Sussex residents about his vision for good planning and the future of the Sussex countryside.

Futureproofing Sussex, an event being held by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Sussex) is a chance to hear expert debate on how government planning reforms will affect the Sussex countryside. Other speakers include Neil Sinden, CPRE Director of Policy and Campaigns and Georgia Wrighton, Director of CPRE Sussex.

The event comes at a crucial time for local planning authorities as the ‘grace’ period which allows Councils to put Local Plans in place before central government policy takes over, is coming to an end. April 2013 sees a critical period in the way that planning principles are applied.

The event coincides with the release of the CPRE national report ‘Countryside Promises: Planning realities which analyses the way that the government’s planning framework, the National Planning Policy Framework has been applied one year on. The emerging evidence raises significant concerns about whether the reformed planning system is capable of securing the development the community needs and preventing damaging schemes in the wrong locations.

The report highlights that the views of local communities are being overruled time and time again, with major new housing developments being allowed to sprawl across precious countryside.

Georgia Wrighton, Director of CPRE Sussex said:

“From this Spring, local authorities who don’t have a Local Plan in place will find their decision making powers to decide on development proposals in a perilous state.  If their plans don’t have legal force by April, central government dictat will take over and local voices to determine the future of their area will be severely weakened.

We call on the government to extend the period for Councils to put their Plans in place rather than effectively vetoing the proper local democratic planning process.”

Hashtag: #futureproofing13

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