29 June 2006
Philip Booth in The Daily Telegraph on planning policy
Sir Max Hastings believes that planning has delivered the goods in terms of conservation and the environment (Daily Telegraph 29th June). If your only goal in life is the preservation of open countryside this may be true. But 98% of the population lives in cities, towns or large villages and their environment is blighted by the planning system. Our planning system preserves green space where it is least valuable and in greatest supply – in open countryside. At the same time we cram yet more houses into our already packed towns and villages as planning promotes builiding on green space where it is already in shortest supply and is most greatly valued. The most important aspect of the environment for most people is their immediate surroundings: the British people should be able to aspire to something better than a “rabbit hutch on a postage stamp”.