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CPRE claims planning policy victory

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has claimed the government's new Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1), launched on Tuesday (1 February) at the Sustainable Communities Summit in Manchester, represents a victory for the organisation.

The CPRE emphasised the importance of this week's summit as an opportunity to address current planning problems.

'It's a vast improvement on the original draft. This is a basis for planning that can both meet the need for development and protect the countryside and wider environment,' said CPRE's director of policy Neil Sinden. 'However, the gap between this vision and what's actually happening on the ground is huge and widening.

'But we warmly welcome this new 'bible for planners' and we congratulate the government on listening to criticism of the original draft and making it much better.'

The campaigning body also highlighted that the version of PPS1 that was launched this week explicitly recognises several elements missing from an earlier consultation draft that was published in February last year.

These elements address sustainable communities, quality of life and good planning. They also emphasise protection and enhancement of the landscape and the wider countryside, and the benefits of conservation and environmental protection.

'PPS1 highlights the gap between rhetoric and reality in the government's approach to planning,' Sinden added.

by Rob Sharpe

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