Now 'sustainable development' remains the term that gives cause for concern as being inadequately defined in the National planning policy framework (NPPF). Even before the consultation period began in the summer the land protecting groups including the National Trust thought the plans favoured developers.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England, (CPRE) were not happy either. They have funded extensive research titled, "Building in a small island," using data on national construction and the National Land Use Database with the results recently published.
The CPRE is only one of many concerned groups. There is even dissent within the coalition government where a group of Lib Dems have come to the same conclusion.
"There is insufficient conformity throughout the (NPPF) document as to what sustainable development means," said Annette Brooke co-chairman of the Lib Dem Parliamentary committee on communities and local government, whose confidential report was picked up by the Independent.
Recently the CPRE said it was unhappy that the Department of Business has published a plan to force the English Heritage, the Environment Agency and Natural England to promote this 'sustainable development,' that is still not clearly defined.
"Time and again we hear that the economic departments are really calling the shots over the Government’s planning reforms," said Neil Sinden Director of Policy CPRE.
As a result CPRE said that English Heritage, the Environment Agency and Natural England could lose their role as the environmental watchdogs.
Their research also rejects the NPPF change of policy from prioritising the use of 'brownfield' land to using brownfield and greenfield countryside.
Brownfield planning has been highly successful they say, adding that the evidence shows that PDL (or previously developed land) is available and the government 'inadequately understand the land and housing markets', and underestimate the effect the NPPF could have on greenfield sites.
Every announcement draws more resistance. With the Portas Review on the future of our high streets published 13 December, Graeme Willis, CPRE Senior Rural Policy Campaigner said the laissez faire approach will not work.
"This approach will lead to more out of town mega stores and supermarkets that suck the life out of town centres," Mr Willis said.
Elsewhere, other organisations and rare campaigners continue to battle. The National Trust rallying against the forest policies with their protest petition have more than a quarter of a million.
As a group represented on the government's forestry advisory panel and criticised by Jonathan Porrit of Save our Forests (SOF) for not launching campaigns earlier they are now on board. The SOF's own 38 degree online petition carries more than half a million signatures.
The rebellion for both the planning and the forestry proposals grows, driven by the fear that the government and developers will ride roughshod over what the public wants.
The government response to the NPPF consultations are expected early 2012.