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MILIBAND REOPENS PLANNING AND LAND USE DEBATE

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A 'necessary debate' is opening up about planning and land use, environment secretary David Miliband said yesterday...
A 'necessary debate' is opening up about planning and land use, environment secretary David Miliband said yesterday, 'not just for wind farms but also for disused agricultural buildings'.

He said the Barker review suggests minor commercial developments should not require planning permission, and that where permission is needed it should be quicker and easier for businesses to apply.

'I think Kate Barker is right to open up this debate - and right to say we should debate the relative value of different parts of the green belt, and recognise that there are many environmental issues not captured by the greenfield/brownfield distinction.'

Mr Miliband said he will have 'more to say about this' in a speech to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England on 12 March.

The future of farming is 'more about environmental security than food security', he told the Oxford farming conference yesterday.

'Land use needs to marry economic, social and environmental value; it needs to adapt to demographic and economic pressures while increasing biodiversity and wildlife; enhancing beauty and access; and maintaining flood protection, carbon sinks and other eco-system services.'

Full speech

Housing, planning & environment

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