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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 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 factsheet. 

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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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How Green is my Region?

Our briefing summarises our findings from our report Environmental Sustainability and English Regional Strategies which compared the progress of England's nine regions in the sustainability stakes. Our research found that there are some good green policies in each of England's nine regions. But overall each region is being held back by having to comply with central Government requirements to adopt environmentally damaging policies and trends.

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How to respond to planning applications

An eight-step guide

Most significant developments in the United Kingdom require planning permission from a local planning authority. This process usually involves the submission of a planning application. As a member of the public, you are entitled to examine and comment on planning applications as they are made. This is your chance to press for planning decisions that work for the good of the environment and your local community. This guide tells you how to find out more about a planning application and — if necessary — how you can take action.

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