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Hertfordshire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

Unnecessary Greenfield development thank you for supporting our campaign

Thursday, 30 June 2016 10:34

threatened countryside to the east of Luton threatened countryside to the east of Luton Chris Howe

Well over 9,000 people have already had their say and sent a letter to their MPs to demand the Government halts plans for a series of changes to the way planning works in England.

We want to thank those of you who have taken the time to raise your voices and stand up for the protection of our precious countryside. 

We were pleased to read that the Government has stated, in a letter written by Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis 

We have been repeatedly clear that demand for housing alone will not change Green Belt boundaries.

This is a welcome result of CPRE pressure, but it needs to be carried through to either the NPPF or Planning Practice Guidance. Here in Hertfordshire, some local authorities have stated publicly that they have no choice but to meet housing need in full, and are being required to do so despite the major loss of Green Belt that will result.

Most recently, Welwyn Hatfield Council has decided to include major sites of over 1,000 houses in the Green Belt in its pre-submission draft Local Plan. CPRE Hertfordshire’s Hon. Director, Kevin FitzGerald, has written to all ten Hertfordshire local authority Chief Executives with copies to Heads of Planning and Council Members with responsibility for Planning Portfolios, enclosing a copy of Brandon Lewis' letter. Kevin urges them to reconsider the assumptions and advice they have applied in deciding their housing targets.

CPRE'S View
We need to build more affordable homes in the right places for local communities. CPRE's research has shown that there is already enough land with planning permission to build 650,000 more homes, so there is no need to sacrifice our countryside. Granting permission on more land in the countryside isn’t the solution to getting more homes built – getting housebuilders to build the permissions they have, is.
We need to build more affordable homes in the right places for local communities. By building homes on brownfield sites we can regenerate our towns and cities and help save precious countryside. To make this happen we need good planning, that gives local communities a fair say in the kind of housing that is right for them and protects the countryside.   
 
What we want from the Government
• Allow local authorities to set realistic housing targets based on local need.
• Make developers build out the developments for which they already have planning permission before they can have further sites. • Make building on brownfield land a priority before building on greenfield land.
• A clear commitment to a Green Belt policy that protects the countryside.

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