British Property Federation responds to misleading press claims

12 Sep 2011

Policy area: Planning

The British Property Federation has today responded to misleading reports in the Daily Telegraph alleging that the BPF has entered into a “pact” with planning minister Greg Clark to “force through” reform of the planning system.

The article in today’s edition also printed spurious claims that the property industry was “in the pocket” of ministers.

Chief executive Liz Peace said: “The idea that we are somehow colluding with Ministers to force through an unwanted policy that will irrevocably damage the countryside is wide of the mark.

“Far from being in the pocket of ministers, we are guided in all things by our members, the vast majority of which are involved in commercial property and do not wish to build in the countryside.

“Our members support the draft NPPF because it attempts to speed up our glacially-slow planning system and because they support the idea that good development that accords with what local communities want should be given permission with the minimum of fuss.

“The strength of feeling against these proposals was one of the reasons why Government Ministers suggested to us that if we did indeed support the NPPF then we ought to make sure our voice was heard alongside those speaking out against it.

“We don’t accept, however, that this amounts to collusion – it’s simply us doing our job to support the interests of our members and to make sure that whatever decision Government ultimately comes to is based on a balanced assessment.

“That does not mean we agree with everything in the draft NPPF. We have already said there needs to be further debate on what needs to be done to persuade local authorities to draw up good local plans, to ensure brownfield land is, where feasible, developed before greenfield sites and to understand better what constitutes truly ‘sustainable’ development.”