Stone Federation has engaged planning professional Sam Thistlethwaite of planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore to write its response to the government proposals for planning reform set out in its White Paper 'Planning for the Future'.
A White Paper is a consultation document. 'Planning for the Future' was published in August. If you would like to read it and comment on it, you can download the White Paper here. On the link you will also find information about how to comment on it. Deadline for comments is 29 October.
On 24 September Sam Thistlethwaite gave an online presentation about the document to Stone Federation members. He said the White Paper is "a really good opportunity for the stone industry".
The White Paper includes photographs of some major stone projects as examples of good development and built heritage. It has a heavy emphasis on 'local' involvement in planning (in spite of proposing that housing and develpment plans be established by central government rather than local government) and ensuring developments are appropriate to their locality, mentioning that that appropriateness should include materials used.
Sam said that throughout the White Paper and its supporting documents stone features fairly heavily one way or another. "It's clear," he said, "when people talk about building beautiful... natural stone is a key, fundamental part of that."
A Building Beautiful Commission document is one of the papers supporting the White Paper, and it contains frequent references to the use of stone.
Sam unpacked the White Paper and what it could mean for the industry. He said its proposals could present opportunities of significant benefit to the natural stone sector, which is why Stone Federation is keen to respond and become involved in the development of changes to the planning processes.
The presentation by Sam Thistlethwaite was recorded and is available for Stone Federation members on YouTube. If you are a Federation member you will have received a link to it. Stone Federation is not making it publicly available and have asked us to remove the link to it. Apologies all round.