I finally received a response to my blog post ‘Oi! Wake up, Arthur!’ this week (20th June 2013) which I had sent to MP Nick Boles’ office. Of course, Nick was too busy doing what’s best for Britain so this has come from someone else in his office. After reading it, I invented a game; how many times does the word ‘framework’ appear? Great choice of word by them as it basically means ‘interpret it any way you like and do what the f*ck you want!’


Dear Mr Connor

Thank you for your email of 30 May to Nick Boles MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning, about development and the countryside.  I have been asked to reply.

The Government’s planning reforms so far have had two goals: to protect our countryside and to encourage sustainable development.   You may find our National Planning Policy Framework – issued March 2012 and available on the gov.uk website – a more useful indicator of the Government’s intentions for planning than some media reports.  Local planning authorities must have regard to all relevant policies in the Framework when revising Local Plans and when determining planning applications.

The need for an increased supply of housing requires the building of many new homes and the bringing back into use of empty homes.  The Framework requires local authorities to meet their assessed local housing needs in full, but only so far as is consistent with the policies in the Framework as a whole.

At other points in the Framework, policies make clear the importance the Government attaches to Green Belt as a way to prevent sprawl by keeping land permanently open.  The Framework requires local planning authorities to recognise the character and beauty of the countryside, to take into account all the benefits of the best, most versatile agricultural land, and to encourage re-use of previously developed land if not of high environmental value.  It also maintains strong protection for National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other land with protective designations.  In certain circumstances, explained in the Framework, local communities are now able to identify for new special protection limited green areas of particular importance to them.

However, under our ‘Plan-led’ planning system, it is for local authorities, in consultation with their communities, to resolve any conflict of policies and priorities, and decide where development must be restrained and where it would be sustainable and should be allowed.

Yours sincerely,


Read the original post here: https://leeconnorblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/oi-wake-up-arthur/