Thank you for your email regarding revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
I’m a passionate supporter and defender of the Green Belt and I therefore share your interest in planning policy. I’m reassured that the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has publicly ‘welcomed’ the proposed revisions.
These current proposals seek to give further clarification to the existing strong protections for the Green Belt by setting out the steps which a local planning authority must take before it can conclude that ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist which justify alterations to Green Belt boundaries.
I’m pleased that the revised NPPF reaffirms protections for areas of outstanding national beauty and national parks, and that it also sets out the need to prioritise the use of brownfield land and the importance of delivering more affordable housing.
Like the CPRE, I welcome that the draft NPPF ‘clarifies the primacy of local and neighbourhood plan policies in determining planning applications’ and I’m confident that the proposed reforms to planning outlined in the draft NPPF will help address the housing crisis, building on the progress which the Government has already made, whilst maintaining the existing protections for the Green Belt.
Having said that, I’ll continue to study these proposals very carefully indeed and I will strenuously resist anything that might dilute or threaten our current Green Belt protections.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.