News release: Government Planning Reforms – sustainable development or a development free-for-all?

28th March 2012

Following the publication of the Government’s new planning guidelines on Tuesday 27 March [1], Friends of the Earth are calling on government ministers to make it absolutely clear that the new planning system will encourage the low-carbon infrastructure and affordable homes our nation needs – and prevent poor quality developments that waste water and increase our reliance on expensive fossil fuels.

Friends of the Earth’s Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett said:

“Including a strong definition of sustainable development in the new planning guidelines is an important step forward, but this is undermined by confusing and contradictory information in the rest of the document.”

“But the devil is in the detail – Friends of the Earth legal experts will be watching closely to ensure local people, future generations and our wildlife are properly protected.”



Neil Verlander, Friends of the Earth press office – 020 7566 1649 / 07712 843 209

Notes to Editors:

[1] See

[2] Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. More than 90 per cent of our income comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For further information visit

[3] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations.  Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website:  Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England,
Wales and Northern Ireland.