2. Planning White Paper

What's happening?

The Planning White Paper Planning for the Future was published for 12 weeks’ consultation on 6 August 2020. In his foreword, the Prime Minister described the proposed reforms to the planning system as the most radical since the Second World War and made clear the intention to "tear it down and start again."

We recognise that any long-running system will need to be reviewed and updated. The English planning system has been in place for over 70 years and reform is urgently needed - but the proposed changes will make a bad situation much worse: failing nature, people, and local democracy. 

We're concerned that the reforms:

  • Are highly likely to exacerbate nature’s decline
  • Fail to integrate nature into people’s lives - something that is now recognised as essential for our health and wellbeing
  • Undermine the democratic process and provide little opportunity to influence individual development proposals

We need a planning system that's fit for our future

We've set out five principles to ensure nature and people can be fully integrated into the proposed planning reforms:

  1. Wildlife recovery and people’s easy access to nature at the heart of planning reform. A Nature Recovery Network must underpin local plans, inform the identification of any zoning and be integrated into all areas. 
  2. Nature protection policies and standards must not be weakened, and assessment of environmental impact must take place before development is permitted
  3. Address the ecological and climate crises by protecting new land put into recovery by creating a new designation – Wildbelt. A new designation is needed to secure the future of the land that we are putting into recovery so that we can reach at least 30% of land for nature by 2030.
  4. People and local stakeholders to be able to engage with the planning system at the point where it is meaningful to them and sufficient information is available to understand the impacts – on nature and on local communities
  5. Decisions based on accurate nature data. Local Plans, areas and development proposals must be informed by robust, accurate, detailed and thorough ecological information. 

How do I get involved?

Please back our principles and add your own views to the White Paper consultation before it closes on 29 October:

Take part in the consultation

Planning White Paper

Our Preliminary Analysis will help you add your own views to the Government's consultation: