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WWF - MP’s planning recommendations ‘pragmatic and constructive’

WWF said yesterday (21 December) that the Communities and Local Government Committee’s recommendations for improving the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) were ‘pragmatic and constructive’.

Emmalene Gottwald, senior planning advisor at WWF-UK, said: “It’s a welcome relief to see that the Committee has taken such a pragmatic and constructive approach to its report on the inquiry into the draft NPPF. They haven’t shied away from really investigating the tough issues and providing strong recommendations to Government on how to amend and improve the NPPF so that it provides a clear, balanced framework.

“They’re absolutely right about the need to better define what ‘sustainable development’ is and to highlight that the planning system must address the environmental and social aspects of development as well as the economic ones. We are pleased that the Committee has recognised the role the planning system has to play in achieving long term economic prosperity for Britain, where all aspects of sustainable development are treated equally and not traded off against each other.

“We welcome the recommendation to remove the ‘default yes’ for development, as it did run the risk of unchecked, poorly planned development that would harm the natural environment and local communities for many generations to come. Hopefully we can all now resolve in the New Year to agree a planning framework that suits everyone.”

WWF today called on the Government to properly take on board the Committee recommendations, particularly to follow through with improving the definition of sustainable development, and removing the imbalance between economic growth and social and environmental wellbeing. WWF also called for an urgent announcement on the transitional arrangements to be made before the revised NPPF is released. It would welcome a second consultation on the revised NPPF, to sense check and ensure agreement and buy-in, which is likely to reduce opposition and the possibility for legal challenge.

Notes to editors

1. WWF-UK’s written evidence on the National Planning Policy Framework inquiry can be found here:

For further information, please contact:

George Smeeton, Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email:

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