Document calls on the Government to rethink plans for planning reform

Over 100,000 people have now signed a National Trust petition urging David Cameron to rethink his proposed planning reforms.

The charity believes the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) puts short-term economic gain ahead of all other considerations, notably the impact on individual communities and the preservation of the green belt.

The Prime Minister wrote to the trust in person last week after its director general Dame Fiona Reynolds said she would not enter discussions with planning minister Greg Clark unless she received assurances that “the planning system is not there principally to promote economic development”.

The charity welcomed the PM’s letter, but said his assurances would need to be reflected in the final policy.

Commenting on the 100,000 signature milestone, Dame Fiona said: “Growing numbers of people are saying that the Government needs to re-think its planning changes.

“It is absolutely vital that this public concern is heard as part of the consultation process.”

“As the Prime Minister has said, the planning system is about achieving balance between economic, social and environmental concerns. We want this too, so we now need to make sure this is properly reflected in the final planning framework.”

The Trust will continue to collect signatures online and at its properties until 17 October, the deadline for public consultation on the NPPF.

Campaign group 38 Degrees has attracted around 83,000 signatories to a similar petition, which seeks to “save our countryside” from the planned changes.