Those who like to go walking
will not find the countryside spoiled by new planning laws, prime minister David Cameron has insisted.
In a letter to the National Trust - seen by the Daily Telegraph, Mr Cameron states: "I have always believed that our beautiful British landscape is a national treasure. We should cherish and protect it for everyone's benefit."
This means that while there should be less red tape, the protections currently in place for the green belt, national parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty will remain in place.
He was writing to one of the bodies opposed to the loosening of planning laws, with the Daily Telegraph also campaigning against them under the slogan Hands off our Land.
Director-general of the National Trust Fiona Reynolds said earlier this month that the tone of the proposals is "fundamentally wrong" and that they need to be radically altered.
She accused ministers of being unwilling to listen to those concerned about the plans.