Professional bodies unite in concern over proposed planning reforms

Six bodies representing a range of environmental professions have united in a joint letter to planning Minister, Greg Clarke MP, expressing their concern over the current planning reform proposals from Government.

In the latest of a wave of expressions of concern, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Royal Meteorological Society, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Institution of Environmental Sciences, Arboricultural Association and Institute of Fisheries Management challenged the proposals under the draft National Planning Policy Framework as they currently stand.

The signatories urged the Government to exercise due caution in rushing out the reforms and in particular to re-examine its use of the term ‘Sustainable Development’, which they consider to be a “gross mis-representation” of the principle. They also questioned the “draconian” rationalisation of planning guidance, which sweeps aside many safeguards established over generations, arguing that its removal will leave the planning system ill-equipped to consider a range of strategic-level threats facing society, including Climate Change.

The group considers that the Government’s proposals represent a capitulation to a powerful commercial lobby group and will result in a “builders’ charter” to develop at the cost of wider local and environmental interests as opposed to considering economic, social and environmental factors in a balanced manner which respects the principles and recognised definitions of Sustainable Development, and the best interests of all in society.

A copy of the letter can be found via the following link:

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is an independent professional body and a registered charity, advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management for a clean, green and sustainable world

The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) is the professional body that represents and supports ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad

The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) advances the understanding of weather and climate, the science and its applications, for the benefit of all 

The Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) is an international organisation of people sharing a common interest in the modern management of recreational and commercial fisheries  

The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) is a charitable organisation which promotes and raises public awareness of environmental science by supporting professional scientists and academics working in this crucial arena

The Arboricultural Association was founded in 1964 and is the largest body in the UK for the amenity tree care professional

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