Civic Voice Chair *, Freddie Gick, today, Jan 9th, called on the Prime Minister to listen to the comments of No 10 Policy Unit member, Nadhim Zahawi MP.
Gick said “Nadhim Zahawi and many other MPs who participated in the planning debate in Westminster on 8th January clearly recognise that developers want to build on Green Belt

and green field sites because they are easier to develop and ensure a greater profit. However, 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”.

Mr Zahawi, a member of the Number 10 Policy Unit has said that loopholes in the National Planning Policy Framework were undermining the Government’s “good intentions” to enable new houses to be built.

“The damage this is doing to our flagship policy of localism is immense, and, if it continues, the physical harm it is doing to our countryside will become the defining legacy of this Government,” said Mr Zahawi.

Civic Voice has long advocated a “smart growth” approach that targets development in our urban areas taking a brownfield first approach.

Gick finished by saying ““Houses on 'brownfield sites' may be more challenging and expensive to build, but it is evident that a large part of the housing crisis would disappear if existing planning permissions were implemented, and if existing housing stock was used more effectively. The day may come when we have to go into existing Green Belt and countryside to meet the housing need but we're a long way from that at the moment. The Prime Minister should take note of these comments from one of the members of his Policy Unit.”.

 * Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. They work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. They 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".