The House of Lords explored whether the Government’s planning policy supports sustainable communities in a debate on its draft National Planning Policy Framework on Thursday 13 October
Members of the Lords who took part included a former chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, architects, as well as former government ministers.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Lord Rooker (Labour Independent), who tabled and opened the debate, said:
‘I completely support sustainable development and have read the draft National Planning Policy Framework with interest.
‘Sustainable development means transport, schools, jobs and housing – in a nutshell, building sustainable communities. We must build homes that people want to live in and cities where people are happy to work and play. But this development must be controlled and we should be prudent in how we use the land that is available to us.
‘The key to creating well-designed, safe and pleasant environments is planning, something that we need to think about very carefully. I hope this debate will draw attention to the need to look at the draft policy framework in detail and make sure that growth is driven as a policy rather than leaving sustainability issues to local decision makers.’
Contributors to the debate
(Use the links to watch/listen to their contributions.)
- Baroness Parminter (Liberal Democrat), former chief executive of Campaign to Protect Rural England
- Lord King of Bridgewater (Conservative), minister for Local Government and Environmental Services (1979-83)
- Lord Beecham (Labour), first chairman of the Local Government Association
- Lord Hart of Chilton (Labour), former trustee of the Architectural Foundation
- Lord Howarth of Newport (Labour), vice-president of the Local Government Association and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects
- Lord Rogers of Riverside (Labour), architect and designer of the Lloyds Building, Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Millennium Dome
- Lord Tope (Liberal Democrat) former spokesperson for communities and local government.
Lord Reay (Conservative), Viscount Goschen (Conservative) and Lord Greaves (Liberal Democrat), all former spokesmen for the environment, also took part.
Baroness Hanham (Conservative), responded on behalf of the government.
The draft National Planning Policy Framework is a part of Government reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth. The document sets out the Government’s requirements for the planning system and provides a framework within which local people and their accountable councils can produce local and neighbourhood plans, which reflect the needs and priorities of their communities.