Rose Tinted Spectacles
"But isn't everything here green?" asked Dorothy.
"No more than in any other city," replied Oz; "but when you wear green spectacles, why of course everything you see looks green to you.
In the good old days when we all actually had rose tinted specs, Planning Policy Guidance was just that, a strange but often helpful mix of policy, procedure and explanation that gave real guidance as to policy, its rationale and how it should be applied. Often it was hard to unpick which was which and we would be given lessons from time to time by our friends at the planning bar on where we might have erred in winding our way through the reams of such guidance that had evolved. Then there came Planning Policy Statements, valiantly trying to clear our minds and separate policy from explanation. They did this, to a large degree but kept a balance which aided understanding. Now we move forward to a Framework, eliminating much of the fluff and focussing on the key policies themselves. I can understand the wish of CLG not to give detailed answers on the NPPF, as this smacks of reinventing that earlier explanation, but it does suppose that all of us take time to think and understand why it says what it does and that we must apply these policies with fairness, common sense and balance. If policy is unthinking and insensitive to the world we are in, the public interest is not served and the aim of sustainable growth will be frustrated.
Steve Fidgett – Managing Director, London