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Planning minister Greg Clark said the changes in England were “absolutely crucial” but he also agreed to talk to opponents of the proposals.

Campaigners say they fear excessive development under the Draft National Planning Policy Framework.

The plan, published in July, streamlines policy that is He said “particular aspects” currently more than 1,000 could be addressed if pages down to just 52 and groups such as the National features a presumption of Trust felt they were unclear. “sustainable development”. The Department for Communities and Local Government says it intends to transform a system whose “volume and complexity Mr Clark said the govern- have made planning increasment would not back down ingly inaccessible to all but on its aim to boost house- specialists”. building and encourage business. Shadow communities minister Jack Dromey said he welcomed the government’s willingness to talk.

But the National Trust said the plans “failed to protect the everyday places that local communities love” while the Campaign to Protect Rural England said the government needed “to listen and make further improvements or the consequences for the English countryside and the character of our towns and villages will be grave”.


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