The government has published it’s long awaited revision of the National Policy Planning Framework. It's been met with mass outrage because the status of the Climate Change Act (CCA) 2008 has been both downgraded and devalued.
The revised document has changed key wording around how planning must take climate change into account. The original publication in 2012 stated that councils and communities would need to design their local plans around the objectives and provisions set out in the CCA; whereas now, they simply must be ‘within the context of it’. Giving unnecessary flexibility so that new projects can be fast-tracked without proper due diligence.
It is possible to build the housing the country needs without watering down environmental protection. This government is focused on short-term statistics rather than sustainable, correctly built properties. There are clear echoes of the rush to build post-war housing which were enviably unfit for purpose too soon after construction. This government is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past with it’s reckless behaviour.
This government must do the right thing and in reinstate the original wording of it’s own document. These alterations compromise action on a local level and our efforts to minimise both climate change and our carbon footprint. It is clear that this government is not committed to ensuring proper planning protection around the changing climate, and in doing so, is disregarding the needs and rights of future generations on this planet.
Wera said: “I am dismayed by the government’s decision to change the wording of the National Policy Planning Framework. This makes a mockery of the Climate Change Act, which is such an important piece of legislation. The government wants to rush through plans so they can hit their targets, but have no consideration of the homes their building, the people who will live there, or the affect they’ll have on the planet.”