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Campaigners challenge NPPF in court

Words: Laura Edgar
Climate change

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has begun a challenge in the High Court to the National Planning Policy Framework, deeming it unlawful.

Proceedings began yesterday (18 December).

The campaign group is arguing that because no strategic environmental assessment of the NPPF took place, this makes it unlawful. FoE is concerned about the risks “the framework poses to our climate and environment”, and wants the government to undertake a strategic environmental assessment of the framework, consult the public and modify the framework based on those findings.

The group believes that a strategic environmental assessment of the NPPF could identify different approaches to better achieve the UK’s climate emission targets.

Will Rundle, legal head at FoE, said: “The government’s national planning framework, which directs development in every single community in England, has never been environmentally assessed. This makes a mockery of the government’s green credentials and undermines sustainable development.

“In reality, the government simply does not know how much damage its national flagship planning policy could cause.

“The government’s failure to undertake any environmental assessment of its national planning policy not only dangerously threatens our already warming climate and is, we believe unlawful, but also shows contempt for people and the planet.”

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