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Lessons in planning policy

The Northern Ireland Tories slightly miss the point when they suggest (Belfast Telegraph, March 30) that our planning policy should be informed by what's happening at Westminster.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England has been improved since the draft framework was published last summer. 'Sustainable' now under NPPF is given its internationally acknowledged meaning.

Last summer's draft framework attempted to transform 'sustainable development' into a Build Anywhere Anytime charter for developers whose hoarding of development land is causing the housing bubble in England.

England's NPPF now resembles our own PPS1's general principles more closely than it did before. We can certainly learn a lot from neighbouring planning regimes.

But we must also acknowledge, for all the faults of our own planning regime, we have much we can teach them.

STEPHEN DOUGLAS

Alliance, South Belfast

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