Coalition policy causing 'physical harm' to countryside, claims Tory MP
Nadhim Zahawi says 'massive, irreversible damage' is being caused
Thursday 09 January 2014
The Coalition is causing “physical harm” to the countryside by allowing “rapacious developers” to build on farmland and other greenfield sites, according to a Conservative MP and senior adviser to David Cameron.
Nadhim Zahawi, a member of the No 10 policy board, warned “bizarre levels of proposed development” in rural areas could become the “defining legacy of this Government”.
His comments won support from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which said “massive, irreversible damage” was being caused.
Mr Zahawi, MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, called for major changes to recently introduced guidelines in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to prevent what he described as “intense attacks” on the countryside.
He said that loopholes in the guidelines were undermining the Government’s “good intentions” to enable new houses to be built.
“The damage this is doing to our flagship policy of localism is immense, and, if it continues, the physical harm it is doing to our countryside will become the defining legacy of this Government,” Mr Zahawi said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
He said builders were “identifying farmland, large gardens… and greenfield sites in order to shortcut the planning process”.
“No one in my constituency believes that we can preserve ourselves in aspic forever. However, change needs to be supported by the community, and in the current situation that simply isn’t happening,” he said.
Shaun Spiers, the CPRE’s chief executive, said: “Nadhim Zahawi is entirely right and it is very encouraging that he has chosen to speak out. His concerns are shared by MPs and councillors across the country. The way the NPPF is being interpreted is causing massive, irreversible damage to the countryside and many towns, and the tragedy is that this damage is quite unnecessary.
“The only person who can set this right is David Cameron. Nadhim Zahawi is a member of the No 10 policy board. He has spoken very powerfully about what is really happening in the country, and I very much hope that the Prime Minister will hear him.”
Planning minister Nick Boles said they were not looking to make further changes to planning policy.
“We are not looking to change the NPPF, because after such a dramatic change in the planning system, stability has an enormous value,” he said.
- 1 Green village to be bulldozed and mined for lignite in Germany's quest for non-nuclear fuel
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...
£100 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are currently recruitin...