The Coalition Agreement stated… ‘The Government believes that it is time for a fundamental shift of power from Westminster to people…giving new powers to local councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals.’ ‘We will radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live.’ ‘We will maintain the Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and other environmental protections...’ Why has CPRE launched a charter?
Why has CPRE launched a charter? • Two years on from the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) experience is showing… • the planning system is being used to promote economic and housing growth rather than sustainable development • insufficient consideration is being given to the longer term social and environmental impacts of development • local people are feeling powerless rather than more in control of shaping their local area • The charter aims to highlight these concerns and seek support to help fix the planning system CPRE’s Charter campaign
What does the charter say? • England’s countryside is beautiful, irreplaceable and finite. Yet increasingly it is being destroyed by badly planned developments, while local communities are left powerless to protect the places they love. • We must stand together to stop the destruction of England’s countryside. Support our three demands: • Don’t sacrifice our countryside – our open spaces are being destroyed unnecessarily. Previously developed brownfield sites should be re-used first. • A fair say for local communities – the cards are stacked in favour of developers. We want a democratic planning system that gives local people a stronger voice. • More housing – in the right places – the country needs affordable homes. They must be sensitively located, with excellent environmental standards and high quality design.
Don’t sacrifice our countryside • The wording in the NPPF is weaker than it was in previous national policy and this has resulted in greenfield sites being used when suitable brownfield sites are available. • Consequently our countryside is increasingly disturbed by noise and visual intrusion. • There needs to be a stronger steer from national government to ensure that local authorities and developers use brownfield sites before greenfield.
A fair say for local communities • While the Government claims it is seeking to devolve power their actions seem to be demonstrating the opposite. • Controversy over local planning also seems to be typified at the moment by large, powerful developers railroading unpopular proposals through the planning process. • The NPPF should not be used at appeal to promote more development regardless of the environmental consequences
More housing – in the right places • Unrealistically high housing targets and the requirement for a five year ‘deliverable’ land supply are resulting in lots of local plans being considered out of date and more greenfield sites being allocated for housing. • Developers continue to compromise regarding the quality and design of new housing in order to maximise profits. • Local authorities should plan, and only grant planning permission for, development that respects and enhances local character and that is ‘future proofed’. • They also need to prioritise bringing empty homes back in to use
Charter aims Don’t sacrifice our countryside– our open spaces are being destroyed unnecessarily. Previously developed brownfield sites should be re-used first. A fair say for local communities– the cards are stacked in favour of developers. Give local people a stronger voice in a democratic planning system. More housing – in the right places – the country needs affordable homes. They must be sensitively located, with excellent environmental standards and high quality design.
How can you help support these aims? • There are a number of simple ways to get involved: • Sign our charter – visit www.saveourcountryside.org.uk • Encourage fellow Councillors, family, friends, and colleagues to support it • Contact your local MP or Principal Authority Councillors to encourage them support it too • Tell us about any relevant case studies in your local area. Send details to our national office using firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help inform our national campaigning work • Find out more - http://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/housing-and-planning/planning