Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Housing and planning

State of the Green Belt 2018

CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report shows that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt. 

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Sustainable Development (Policy)

Brownfield Land

Land is a precious resource, and must be used wisely. CPRE supports a ‘brownfield first, greenfield last’ strategy as a general principle. However, just because a site is brownfield does not mean it should necessarily be developed.

Wherever possible, it is generally better to use already developed urban land and buildings than to build on green fields.

CPRE believes we need to tap this potential [the potential of brownfield sites] while protecting the character and quality of existing residential areas.

It makes social, environmental and economic sense for most new development to occur in built-up areas, where infrastructure and services are already in place, or can easily be provided, rather than in the countryside. Brownfield development is essential for urban regeneration. Done well, it brings homes, jobs and services closer together, reduces car dependence and enhances communities. However, not all previously developed sites should be considered suitable for development. Land important for wildlife, historically significant or that provides valuable open space should be safeguarded from inappropriate development.

What CPRE wants:

  • A ‘brownfield first, greenfield last’ approach – to protect the countryside and regenerate urban areas.
  • Removal of obstacles to brownfield development - financial support for remediating contaminated land.
  • A plan-led approach which responds to the needs and aspirations of local communities.
  • Better use of existing buildings – reduction of VAT on building repairs, which deters responsible maintenance and favours demolition and development on greenfields over building re-use and refurbishment.
  • Protection for urban open spaces, wildlife habitats and sites of historic importance.
  • Local brownfield strategies to tackle brownfield blight, identify opportunities for regeneration and ways to overcome obstacles to brownfield development.
  • A national target of at least 75% of residential development and 85% of commercial development to take place on brownfield sites.

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.

Find out more

• CPRE's policy on brownfield land 
• Planning resources
• Planning campaign briefings

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The right housing in the right places - CPRE manifesto briefing

We need to save our countryside from unnecessary and damaging development by improving planning policy and guidance.

This is a detailed briefing based on CPRE's manifesto for the 2015 General Election.

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Third Party Rights of Appeal in Planning

This major report explores the case for 'third party rights of appeal’. Currently, a developer may appeal against refusal of planning permission, but members of the public have no right to appeal against the grant of permission - no matter how strong their case. Written by an independent team of respected academics, consultants and legal experts in the field of planning, the research was funded by a broad alliance of environmental and amenity groups, including CPRE.

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Unlocking Potential: Best Practice for Brownfield Land Registers

CPRE campaigns for a beautiful and living countryside and we do that by working to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy. As part of this we have long campaigned for prioritising use of brownfield land for housing because we believe it stops the waste of precious countryside.

This new research commissioned from HTA Design LLP examines the identification and assessment of brownfield sites by local planning authorities in light of the Brownfield Land Register Regulations, 2017.

It finds that national and local government could be doing far more to identify more brownfield land and make the task more efficient in in the process.

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Viable villages: closing the planning loophole

For decades, England hasn’t built enough genuinely affordable homes in rural or urban areas.

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