Monday, May 11, 2015

Greg Clark the new SoS

Readers would have noted from previous blogs the influence of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on planing decisions. As an example,  I  stuck out my neck in the blog on 'food and planning' to suggest that the NPPF need not change if only there was a change at Ministerial level. Lo' and behold from today we have Greg Clark as Sec of State.

Opening the NPPF issued in March 2012 we find the Ministerial Foreword from Greg Clark when previously Minister for Planning.  It starts "The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development....Sustainable development means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don't mean worse lives for future generations."(emphasis added)

Mr Clark would or should have been horrified by the way his predecessor Mr Pickles has been corrupting the meaning and purpose of 'sustainable development' and the application of the 'presumption' in the NPPF.  The DCLG Parliamentary Select Committee reported just before the recent election and recommended that the definition of sustainable development be clarified.   No such clarification should be necessary just so long as the new Secretary of State reflects the above meaning included in the NPPF in all his future decisions.  We should all be congratulating Mr Clark and reminding him of his role in launching the NPPF.

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