Ok well not quite everyone – it’s the National Planning Policy Framework in case you need reminding. This is the one document which seeks to replace all the many existing Planning Policy Statements and Planning Policy Guidance Notes.  With the Government still adamant that they will issue the final document in April, the “anti” lobbyists are stepping up their campaigns again – no doubt anticipating that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) scribes are pondering over each word of it right now.

The Daily Telegraph/National Trust/CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) brigade have made a disproportionate amount of mileage out of the proposed NPPF. No doubt they see the opportunity for one last push for readers or members before the thing is issued because once it is the planning world won’t even break stride to swallow the latest in the perpetual string of changes and life (and countryside protection) will go on much as it ever did. Expect to see the “Hands off our Countryside”-type scaremongering all over the place in the coming weeks. Sadly for all those country landowners rubbing their hands together with each new Telegraph headline – you shouldn’t believe a word of it. The draft NPPF, flawed as it was in some respects, certainly was not a free reign to start building all over the countryside. Sorry.

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