Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Housing and planning

Next steps for LEPs - How greater transparency and accountability would help Local Enterprise Partnerships to support a thriving countryside.

A CPRE survey of Local Enterprise Partnerships’ approach to the environment and rural economy.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are business-led partnerships between the private and public sector, designed to support and promote growth in economic areas defined by local business interests and local government, and agreed with central Government.

Great concerns have been raised about the failure of LEPs to take rural and countryside issues into account, as well as their governance, transparency, and accountability.

In order to find out more about the impact on the countryside and regeneration, CPRE branches were surveyed in February and March 2017. Twelve policy recommendations for Government and LEPs are set out, based on the survey results and the best practice examples, in areas such as governance, strategic planning, and rural and countryside policy issues. 

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On Solid Ground

Encouraging landowners to invest in rural affordable housing

The seventh paper in CPRE's Housing Foresight series looks at the crucial role landowners can play in helping to fix the rural affordable housing crisis. The paper explores how landowners can invest in affordable housing to benefit their communities, and looks at ways in which the Government can make it easier for them do so.

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Our Green Belt: worth investing in

This report summarises the key findings of 'Nature Conservation and Recreational Opportunities in the Green Belt', produced for CPRE by environmental consultants ADAS.

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Plan B: How to challenge bad developments in court

A short guide to how and when you can challenge planning decisions in the courts

This guide is principally aimed at members of the public and community groups who are concerned about a proposal for development which has gained, or may gain, planning permission, and outlines the scope for legal challenge of land use planning decisions. It will help you decide whether you have a case for a judicial review or statutory challenge, and sets out how the procedure currently works following recent Government changes.

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Planning explained

England’s planning system shapes new development and the use of land all over the country with the aim of achieving outcomes that are positive for people, the economy and the environment. This guide will help you to get involved in the development of your Local Plan - a key component of the planning system which will be the main influence on how your area changes in the future.

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Protecting the wider countryside

The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) proposes removing a critical policy which recognises the national importance of the countryside as a whole. This research maps these areas and shows that unless the Government revises the NPPF, more than half of the English countryside could be under greater threat from inappropriate development than before. The report recommends that the final NPPF should retain explicit recognition of the intrinsic value of the wider countryside and the character of the countryside, while favouring the efficient use of land rather than urban sprawl.

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Removing obstacles to brownfield development

With recent statistics showing that housing development is decreasing on previously developed sites but increasing on the Green Belt, Removing obstacles to brownfield development calls for Government to implement a range of inventive policies to realise the potential of brownfield house building.

The paper calls for:

  • the taxation of uncompleted housing for which planning permission has been granted on brownfield land;
  • improved funding and assistance for brownfield remediation;
  • special planning measures and state intervention to aid redevelopment;
  • and the increased use of tax increment financing.

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Set up to fail: why housing targets based on flawed numbers threaten our countryside

Our new research has found that housing assessments produced by local authorities (SHMAs) are inaccurate, inflated and unreliable. The housing figures produced by SHMAs are not being balanced with sensible planning for infrastructure, consideration of environmental constraints, and realistic assessments of what housebuilders will be able to deliver.

The full report is also available: Smarter SHMAs: A Review of Objectively Assessed Need in England

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Smarter SHMAs: A Review of Objectively Assessed Need in England

This report by Housing Vision with Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design reviews the methodologies used to determine Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for housing and the problems caused by unclear and unhelpful guidance. It provides solid evidence and recommendations for our report Set up to fail.

A summary of the report is also available: Set up to fail: why housing targets based on flawed numbers threaten our countryside

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State of Brownfield 2018

An analysis demonstrating the potential of brownfield land for housing

We have long campaigned for prioritising the use of brownfield land for housing because we believe it stops the waste of precious countryside.

This research examines new brownfield registers, published by 320 local planning authorities in England.

It follows previous work from CPRE, including “From Wasted Space to Living Spaces” in 2014 and brownfield housing capacity research in 2016, which has consistently demonstrated that there is sufficient suitable brownfield land currently available for more than 1 million homes.

This report shows that local planning authorities have identified more brownfield land with space for more than 1 million homes, and that there is brownfield land in places where people want to live.

If this land is used more efficiently, the sites could deliver even more homes – preventing the unnecessary loss of countryside and green spaces.

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