Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Housing and planning

Green Belts

Great development potential
With the focus on action, this leaflet explains the huge potential that Green Belts have and why there is a need to protect them. It offers the opportunity to get involved and make a difference by telling us why Green Belt is so important. These messages will be sent to the Government in an endeavour to highlight the public’s support for Green Belts.


Green Belts 50 Years On

If they didn't exist, we'd have to invent them

Green Belts have made a major contribution to the quality of life for us all by stimulating urban regeneration, combating sprawl and protecting the countryside. This briefing looks at the latest threats to Green Belts from new developments that should be resisted – including housing, airport runways, university expansion and sports venues. It urges a strengthening of Green Belt policy and planning controls, as Green Belt policy celebrates its 50th anniversary.


Green Belts Under Threat

A map showing Green Belts threatened by development.


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.


Green Belts: A greener future (summary)

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

In this summary of the full report we draw together the main findings and ask how Green Belts might better connect urban centres to the wider countryside and to food production; how they can help us to tackle the huge challenges posed by a changing climate; and how they can be valued as part of a nationwide ecological network providing breathing places for people and for nature long into the future.


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.


Housing supply research

The impact of the NPPF’s housing land supply requirements on housing supply and the countryside

New research commissioned by CPRE from respected consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff which informed our policy briefing, Targeting the Countryside



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