Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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From delivering affordable housing to safeguarding the countryside we love, the planning system affects all of us. The Government is currently reviewing its planning rulebook, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and it will have a significant bearing on our countryside and communities for many years to come.

The campaign

We believe that people should be at the heart of decisions made about development in their local area, but time and again, decisions are made that don’t see their needs met, while developer profits rise.

The proposed reforms to the planning system are supposed to help tackle the housing crisis, but we are concerned that, as they stand, they won’t help us build the affordable homes we need or safeguard our countryside and green spaces.

It is possible to build the homes that people need without needlessly harming our beautiful countryside. This is genuine sustainable development and we can only achieve it with a strong planning system that:

  1. Supports local democracy by adhering to neighbourhood and local plans.
  2. Ensures realistic and high quality development based on genuine need not market demand.
  3. Delivers more affordable homes by closing legal loopholes that put developer profits first.
  4. Adopts a true ‘brownfield first’ approach to development.
  5. Protects our countryside for current and future generations.

What now?

We have a real opportunity to influence the shape of the system that will guide development decisions for many years to come – and we’ll need your help and support to do it.

The Government’s consultation closes on 10 May and we’re campaigning hard to make sure that they’re thinking about #PlanningForPeople – ensuring that the policies set in stone will deliver for communities and the environment.
You can find out more about what we think of the proposed changes in our briefing, and in the blogs below.

Over the coming weeks, we will be detailing how planning effects our lives through a series of blogs and mobilising our supporters to take action. So watch this space and sign up to our campaigns update emails to make sure you’re kept in the loop.


Find out more about what we are calling for:

Planning For People

Five reasons why we should use brownfield first

Why people need the Green Belt

Saving beauty for the people 

Restoring democratic planning

Homes that rural people can afford to live in 


Planning shapes the places where we live and work.


If you are looking for help with a planning related query then please visit our Planning Help website.

CPRE view

Good land-use planning is the unsung hero of environmental protection. Good planning can help slow the growth in road traffic, encourage urban regeneration, curb urban sprawl, protect the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside, and safeguard wildlife habitats.

Effective planning is now more important than ever: a drive for economic growth and an increasing population are leading to more development encroaching on the countryside. Planning is fundamental to how we live and planning decisions affect us all. Even so, local communities often have very little input and find it hard to engage in the complex process. CPRE wants planning to be fair and engaging while protecting the countryside and regenerating our towns and villages.

CPRE and planning

CPRE was formed in 1926 by Sir Patrick Abercrombie to limit urban sprawl and ribbon development. Influencing the planning system underpins our campaigning activities to this day. Our local volunteers scrutinise an estimated 100,000 planning applications a year and play an important part in contributing to the preparation of local plans. Nationally we have played a leading role in informing, influencing and helping to implement Government policy, particularly on housing provision. The planning system has a huge impact on all aspects of the countryside from housing development to light pollution.

We want to see:

  • An open and accessible planning system that encourages more communities to engage with the planning process.
  • A Government-led national land use strategy that includes the better protection and management of our land.Strong and up to date local and neighbourhood plans that protect the intrinsic worth of the countryside as well as identify suitable locations for new housing.
  • High-quality, well-designed, energy-efficient and appropriately located homes to meet local needs and enhance distinctiveness.
  • A fair appeals process to provide fully justified planning decisions.
  • A community right of appeal against speculative housing developments that run contrary to a prepared or finalised neighbourhood plan.

The issues:

Petersfield: when communities have a say, planning can create better living spaces

Making planning better and fairer

The character of rural England is being slowly eroded by a range of development such as housing, transport and energy infrastructure.



Our planning successes

Our planning successes

We have a long record of campaign successes that shows just how important CPRE's planning work is for protecting the countryside.


Taking our Charter to the Prime Minister

What we've achieved with our Charter to save the countryside

Over the past two years we’ve been running our campaign to save the countryside and asking people to sign our Charter.

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