Civic Voice submits draft NPPF consultation response and asks if government is genuinely listening?

 Civic Voice submits draft NPPF consultation response and query whether government is taking the consultation seriously

Civic Voice queries whether consultation was tokenistic or a serious approach to solve the nation’s housing crisis

Civic Voice – the authoritative voice of the civic movement – has submitted its final response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework consultation. The response is available here.

Ian Harvey, Executive Director said: “If the report in Planning Magazine over the weekend is true and the Government's Chief Planner did confirm that the Government has received over 27,000 responses to the draft consultation, we believe that this shows the breadth of feeling across the country about the importance of our planning system."

Responding to the draft NPPF, Civic Voice is calling for:

1. Given our membership and reach nationwide, we are concerned by the London-centric nature of the NPPF; a greater level of ambition for economic development to is vital to address the viability challenges in some parts of the country.
2. The draft NPPF says much about the importance of design, however, it is our fear that as drafted, high quality design could be seen as a ‘nice to have’ but ‘easy to ignore’ rather than as an essential dimension of good planning.
3. Civic Voice supports the emphasis on early and meaningful engagement with communities within the draft NPPF and we would welcome working with MCHLG to develop the accompanying Planning Practice Guidance on this.

Harvey added: “We agree with the Government that finding a solution to the housing crisis is essential and we really hope that this was not a tokenistic consultation. We must ask, if the Government does want to publish the final consultation before the end of July, can it realistically be expected to review the thousands of responses comprehensively within a matter of weeks? We look forward to seeing the final document when it is released as it is important that the Government gets this right, because the consequences of getting it wrong will be felt for many years to come.”
Civic Voice President Griff Rhys Jones finished by saying “Whilst the Government wants to see the ‘right homes in the right places’, if it doesn’t get this right, it is very likely to end up with the ‘wrong homes in the wrong places. We hope they listen to the voices of communities across England.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Civic Voice works to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We promote civic pride. We are the new national charity for the civic movement and have a strong local presence. We believe everyone has the right to live somewhere they can be proud of. We know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by 290 civic societies with more than 76,000 members.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Ian Harvey, Civic Voice (m) 07877 096968