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Housing and planning

CPRE's policy on planning

Good land-use planning is the unsung hero of environmental protection. It can encourage urban regeneration, curb urban sprawl, help slow the growth in road traffic, protect the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside and safeguard wildlife habitats. Effective planning is more important now than ever before with economic pressures and a growing population leading to more development intruding into the countryside. Precious Green Belt land is being eaten away despite a Government commitment to protect it. Proposed new legislation concerning the planning for major infrastructure projects presents a serious challenge to the integrity of the planning system.

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CPRE's policy on the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Arc

This policy position statement sets out the background to CPRE’s interest in the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Arc and the principles by which we think the area should be planned over the coming decades.

In November 2017, the Government's National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) recommended 1 million new homes and 1.1 million new jobs should be created in this area by 2050. 

In this statement, we set out a series of principles that the Government should follow in its response to the NIC. They are:

- We should aim to protect and enhance the countryside, landscape and heritage assets.

- There are other parts of England, particularly in the Midlands and northern regions, that need regeneration and merit investment more than the area of the Arc.

- In housing, the main priority should be providing the affordable housing needed by existing residents supported by sustainable public transport.

- Sustainable transport at all levels, including East-West Rail, should be supported and prioritised over new road-building.

- There needs to be wide-scale public engagement and consultation both on the overall growth proposals and on the Expressway proposal.

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CPRE's response to the Raynsford Review's Call for Evidence

The Raynsford Review ​is carrying out an appraisal of the kind of planning system that England needs.​ It aims to identify how the Government can reform the English planning system to make it fairer, better resourced and capable of producing quality outcomes, while still encouraging the production of new homes. ​

CPRE have responded to a call of evidence and you can find our response to each of the six themes below. Evidence will continue to be collected and examined over the coming months, with a report presented at all major party conferences in autumn 2018.

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Even Regions, Greener Growth

A major new report highlighting the link between disparities in economic performance between the English regions and the consequences for the environment and quality of life. The report sets out for the first time how continuing urban decay and population loss in the less prosperous areas is coupled with sprawling development and worsening congestion in others. It challenges the Government to ensure that, rather than exacerbating these problems by relaxing planning controls and building more infrastructure, the drive for a more even pattern of economic growth promotes an urban renaissance and protects the countryside in all regions.

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From Wasted Space to Living Spaces

The availability of brownfield land for housing development in England

The Campaign to Protect Rural England commissioned University of the West of England (UWE) researchers to calculate an accurate figure for housing capacity on suitable brownfield land and specify how such land might be brought forward for development. To explore this further, the report considers the economic and policy drivers for brownfield development and how they can bring sites back into use, and analyses a number of local authority approaches to identifying land and engaging with local communities.

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Getting Houses Built

How to accelerate the delivery of new housing

This fourth report in CPRE's Housing Foresight series looks at how to accelerate the delivery of new housing in England.

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Green Belt facts

England's 14 Green Belts cover more than a tenth (12.4%) of land in the country, and provide a breath of fresh air for 30 million people. 

Our Green Belts help prevent urban sprawl, and protect our countryside from encroachment, but did you know they're home to 19% of all traffic free cycle routes and 34% of Community Forest land?

Explore these and other surprising facts in our Green Belt factsheets. 

 

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Green Belts: A greener future

A report by Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England

This landmark report brings together, for the first time, information on the state of Green Belt land and compares this to other areas of England. We provide evidence that the 1.6 million hectares of Green Belt provide a rich and varied natural environment and many related benefits to society. The ecosystem services provided by Green Belt land are highly significant and have an economic value that is often underestimated or simply not understood. We conclude that these areas could take on an even greater significance in the face of climate change, England’s growing population and the need for a low carbon economy. They can also help in creating a healthier society through providing space for active outdoor lifestyles and nutritious locally grown food.

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Housing capacity on suitable brownfield land

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has analysed the Government’s brownfield registers pilot scheme. Employing a variety of conservative methodologies, CPRE now estimates that the available data translates to a minimum of 1.1 million homes on suitable brownfield sites across England. More ambitious methodologies put the figure much higher, towards 1.4 million. This suggests that the Government has previously severely underestimated brownfield capacity.

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Housing the Nation

Meeting the need for affordable housing ? facts, myths, solutions

It is clear that there needs to be a significant increase in the provision of affordable housing – in both urban and rural areas. This briefing suggests what might be done to achieve this objective while ensuring that the countryside is protected from unnecessary development and the best use is made of existing urban land and buildings. It defines the extent and nature of affordable housing needs, challenges some of the myths surrounding the issue, and proposes measures that might be adopted nationally and locally to tackle it.

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