Budget 2012 reaction: Friends of the Earth claim local communities at risk

Friends of the Earth reacted angrily to the Budget today and claimed that developers will be allowed to 'ride roughshod over local communities'.

The campaign group's executive director Andy Atkins said: 'Trashing planning rules will do nothing to develop a resilient economy – we need the right kind of development in the right place, with investment in clean energy and warm, affordable homes.

'Osborne says new planning rules will protect our most precious environments but unless they address the environmental challenges we all face, Ministers will pave the way for a development free-for-all that will cost us all a fortune in the long run.

'Bringing in the changes will put local plans at risk and allow developers to ride roughshod over local communities.'

And regional campaigner Chris Crean said: 'This Budget sticks two fingers up at David Cameron's promise to build a clean future – and gives a massive thumbs down to new jobs and cutting our reliance on expensive gas and oil.

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'Safeguarding our environment and growing a strong economy go hand in hand – but the Chancellor has fired the starting pistol for more roads, airports and gas power that will keep the UK hooked on costly fossil fuels for decades to come.'

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