The letter states that the reforms will lead to an ‘unacceptable loss of local democracy, scrutiny and accountability’ and reduce trust in the planning system.
350 Conservative councillors and the Campaign to Protect Rural England and environmental group Friends of the Earth have all supported the letter.
The proposed changes – which include the introduction of a ‘zonal’ style planning system in which areas are red-lined for automatic planning permission – ‘could radically reduce protections for nature, local green spaces and fail to tackle climate change’.
The Government says its reforms will see enhanced local participation in planning decision and protect the countryside, and that it reforms of planning contributions will see developers forced to pay more for affordable housing overall.
However, the letter to Mr Jenrick comes after a large rebellion of Conservative MPs forced the Government to backtrack on its initial plans for a formula to determine housing need across England, which critics said would concentrate growth in rural areas across the South and South East at the expense of northern communities.
Housing Today - Tory councillors join call for government planning rethink
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