We recently joined other organisations in signing a letter to Michael Gove demonstrating the strength of opposition to proposals for a relaxation of planning rules, including allowing the unplanned conversion of rural buildings.

We also worked closely with the Campaign for National Parks to submit a detailed response to a complex national consultation on this topic.   The new rules could mean that barns and other buildings could be converted to housing and other uses without planning permission.  This in turn means that landscape and other environmental impacts would go unchecked but also that there would be no mechanism through which to require new properties to be for local occupancy, affordable or subject to particular conditions.  The proposals currently exclude World Heritage Sites, which would, almost by accident it would seem, protect much of the Lake District whilst leaving other National Parks,  AONBs and other rural areas vulnerable.

Read the letter here>