Commenting on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s response to the proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Mike Spicer, Director of Research and Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:


“The Committee was right to suggest a comprehensive review of the operation of the NPPF before the end of this Parliament. This should be broadened to include other recent changes like the one-directional relaxation of use-class changes, which risks sacrificing business premises as a quick-fix for the housing crisis.


“There are still some major concerns about how the planning system is evolving, and future reform should focus on development more generally, such as supporting economic growth and advancing living standards, rather than simply delivering more homes.


“It was also refreshing to hear that a more pragmatic approach should be taken in the use of Green Belt for housing and environmental protection. Green Belt reviews should be integral to local planning processes.


“Similarly, consultations on development of brownfield sites also need to include the local business community, to ensure that the economic needs of an area do not lose out to national policy imperatives on delivering housing.”