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More planning, not less, is needed for long term prosperity

Monday, 28 November 2011 16:16

In advance of the autumn statement to be delivered by the Chancellor George Osborne on Tuesday, Ben Stafford, Head of Campaigns at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), says:

“As the Chancellor prepares to give his autumn statement, we hope he’s learned from his recent mistakes and does not try to make the planning system his whipping boy again [1]. Despite his previous claims, the Government has now acknowledged that the slowdown in house building is a consequence of the economic downturn [2] and not a result of sensible planning rules that have been in place for more than 60 years.

“New construction might deliver a short-term boost to some businesses, but this is not the same as delivering long term prosperity.  Development needs to reinforce urban regeneration and not be at the expense of the countryside. For example, a return to building new roads in the name of job creation will lead to more traffic, moving bottlenecks along rather than solving them, often at an irrevocable cost to the local environment.

“Rural areas have considerable potential to contribute to sustainable economic development but this requires careful planning.  We hope the Government will recognise this potential by enabling the sensitive provision of rural affordable housing and supporting farmers in producing the food we need while also protecting and enhancing the countryside.”

End

Notes to Editors
[1] Financial Times article by George Osborn, 4 September 2011,  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d14169b0-d598-11e0-9133-00144feab49a.html#axzz1f14rwRfn
[2] Department for Communities and Local Government, New strategy to deliver homes and strengthen the economy, 21 November 2011 http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/2033731

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