Cotswolds Conservation Board issues its response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework

The Cotswolds Conservation Board has submitted its formal response to the Government’s consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. The new framework is intended to replace all existing Planning Policy Guidance and Statements and therefore aims to simplify planning rules and make the process easier to understand.

Malcolm Watt, Planning Officer for the Board said:

“Getting the right development in the right place is a vital issue for people living and working in the Cotswolds. The Board finds much in the new framework to welcome – such as the new need to consider the impact of development on tranquillity, and the proposal to give local communities the opportunity to develop their own plan for their town or village. We also welcome the simplification of the whole planning process.

However, the Board is concerned that despite Government assurances, the framework as currently worded weakens the protection of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from poor quality development. The Board’s suggested changes to the NPPF will achieve a better balance between development and the protection of the natural beauty and special character of the area. For example, the Board suggests that it should be an aim to ‘avoid’ environmental harm being caused by development rather than just ‘minimise’ any harm, as is suggested in the draft NPPF.

We also have concerns that the draft framework does not recognise the economic benefits that flow from a high quality environment, including through the provision of vital services such as water supplies and encouraging sustainable tourism.”

The Board’s full response can be viewed by clicking here