Planning reforms a big worry, says MEP

PLANNING reforms could turn Lavenham into a “concrete jungle” according to a Euro MP.

Labour MEP Richard Howitt believes the Government’s proposed changes to planning laws – which aim to encourage developers to boost the economy – would make it easier to build over some of the county’s green spaces, potentially ruining the character of historic villages.

Speaking on Friday as he joined National Trust campaigners outside Lavenham Guildhall to sign a petition fighting the plans, Mr Howitt said the Government was putting money concerns before the health of the countryside.

“I am deeply worried that in a short-sighted rush to encourage developers to build a concrete jungle, the Government will carry out an unforgivable act of environmental vandalism,” he said.

“Lavenham is a beautiful village famed for its wealth of timber-framed buildings, while the surrounding countryside also contains important, varied and beautiful grassland, woodland and rivers. The reforms are completely one-sided and this is a very important cause.”

The petition will be available at the Guildhall until the Government’s consultation on planning reforms ends on October 17.

For more information about the planning reforms and how to sign the petition against them visit

For the full story see last week’s Free Press.