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Labour warns NPPF will cause delays


Labour has attacked the Government's planning reforms for England, warning that the brownfield provisions are too weak and the transitional arrangements are rushed and worrying.

The party said the changes could cause widespread delay and chaos in the system with many developments held up while courts try to decide how the new and untested approach should be interpreted.

It said it would harm both house building and the countryside.

Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn responded to Greg Clark's statement about the National Planning Policy Framework by wondering how the Government had made such a mess of the process.

He pointed out planning is not an obstacle to development, with 300,000 consented dwellings unbuilt.

"On brownfield land, why are the Government so against a national, as opposed to a local ‘brownfield-first' policy, given that it is the best place to build the millions of homes that we urgently need, and the best way to protect the greenfield sites that so many members are concerned about?" he asked.

He said the country nees a planning system to deliver homes, jobs and transport while protecting the green spaces and special places people value.

"However, this revised NPPF may end up doing neither," said Mr Benn.

"Far from giving us certainty, there is likely to be delay as developments are held up by appeals and by the courts having to rule on a new and untested approach. In other words, there is uncertainty and chaos-the worst of all worlds-instead of the best of planning."

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