Countryside protection policies still have teeth, says Paul Miner. Here’s why.
Well, we’ve now had a good read of the Local Plans Expert Group (LPEG) recommendations on how to speed up and simplify the process of making local plans and I fear it hasn’t filled us with much more optimism than our initial read gave us. That scan suggested the focus is much more on releasing land for housebuilding rather than creating good local plans and so it is.
Last week CPRE research revealed that at least 275,000 houses are planned for England’s Green Belt. This concerning figure is 25% more than last year and almost 200,000 more than in 2012, when the Government introduced its new planning policy - the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Since their founding in 1955, Green Belts have protected the breathing space between our towns and cities. They have formed crucial barriers preventing the disastrous urban sprawl we see in other countries. And they continue to provide the countryside next door for 30 million people – offering woodlands and nature reserves close to city doorsteps.