The group ‘Campaign to Protect Rural England’ (CPRE) has issued a report, Protecting the wider countryside, in which it has concluded that “if the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is unamended, only 49 per cent of the countryside in England – that is, land covered by a nationally recognised designation – will receive some level of protection from inappropriate development.”
The English planning policy, which has been in force for around 25 years, has always recognised the ‘intrinsic value of the wider countryside’, including undesignated areas, protecting it from inappropriate land development. The draft NPPF proposes to remove this policy.
Government must make it clear that local decision-making with regard to land development should take into account national policy. There is a fear that under the new policy this will not happen.
CPRE’s Head of Planning Fiona Howie has stated that they are not looking for a national policy that prevents all development, but the new policy “should ensure it is not only the specially designated areas which are valued.”
Personally, as someone who enjoys country pursuits such as dog-walking and horse-riding, I feel there is little protected countryside left as it is. Even so-called green belt areas that I remember as a child have been built upon.
For more information on protecting the wider countryside, the draft NPPF and Green Belts please see the CPRE website.
Read original article here: Countryside Threatened by Planning Changes – CPRE (www.farmersguardian.com)
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