Cameron's deregulation poses planning risk

A "radical" deregulation of planning rules, announced by prime minister David Cameron, means communities risk having no say over poor quality developments erected in their neighbourhoods, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has warned.

TCPA head of policy Dr Hugh Ellis said the move took control away from communities, adding: "It is worrying this has come at a time when we know we need smart green cities that can provide healthy environments for ordinary people. These announcements are a missed opportunity to ensure we create climate-resilient places."

On 12 October Cameron warned councils that if they did not produce local plans for new homes by 2017, the government would step in and do it for them. The rules, intended to speed up housebuilding, essentially bring in a zonal planning system which allows automatic planning permission for registered brownfield sites as well as removing a range of controls the TCPA said are "vital" for high-quality placemaking.

They include making permanent the temporary rule that allows people to convert office buildings into homes with no planning permission, risking communities springing up without proper infrastructure or places for children to play.

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