CLG's myth buster, designed to better explain the key principles of NPPF makes a good read. In particular it was good to see, clearly stated in answer to the "this is a developer's charter" myth, a reminder that "from the birth of modern planning in 1947, there was a presumption in favour of development". This is a message we have been giving out for a while - see for example David's post of 17 June.
But the myth buster rightly begins by answering the proposition that "change is not needed/planning isn't the problem". This myth must be busted. Coincidentally, I was in conversation yesterday with someone who expressed the view that leaving aside major infrastructure projects, he did not have the impression that planning held things up or posed any problems. That really made me think - is the need for change properly understood? It may be that CLG should invest further in this aspect of the consultation. With concerns about NPPF now featuring in the national press and news, perhaps CLG should look at other ways of raising this important message. A televised debate?
Of course it would be wrong to leave this post without a tiny mention of the contribution the Government has itself made to the problem. Was abolition of RS (we assume now in the thick of environmental assessment - more anon), without any real consultation, properly thought through? If effective planning is at the heart of our economic future, couldn't we have left much of the Localism Bill for another time and concentrated efforts on key issues?