CivicVoiceAppearing on the Daily Politics Show, Griff Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice, has spoken out about the ambiguity of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Griff said ““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 Conservative, John Howells MP, the author of Open Source Planning. The programme can be watched (25 minutes and 50 seconds in) here: BBC programme

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”.