Save our Countryside! CPRE’s new Charter

We have had a busy couple of days launching CPRES’s Charter to save our countryside

The purpose of the Charter, which is supported by a host of prominent people, is to rally support around three simple propositions.  We need to value the countryside, developing suitable brownfield sites before encroaching on green fields; give local communities a proper say; and – which have been controversial within CPRE at one time, but is not now – build more new houses, but with better design, in the right places, and with an emphasis on affordability.

We want to jolt Ministers out of their complacency: what they seem to think is happening (ordered development, largely on brownfield land, with local consent) really is not happening.  Instead, up and down the country people are seeing local objections disregarded and poor quality development sprawling into the countryside when better alternatives are available.  And they are getting fed up. 

They were certainly fed up at CPRE’s local campaigners’ event today in Westminster, not least because the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) could not field anyone, minister or civil servant, to hear their concerns.  The message from the campaigners was very clear: ministers are in denial about the impact their planning policies are really having, and people care passionately about their countryside.  It is a shame that no one from the Department was there to listen.

The event did at least give me the chance to correct an outrageous headline in today’s Daily Mail: ‘Save rural England or we could back Labour campaigners warn MPs.’  We will do no such thing.  CPRE is a charity.  We will never support or even hint at supporting individual parties or candidates.     

We will, however, work to persuade politicians of all parties to pursue pro-countryside policies.  We need to persuade them that the countryside is hugely precious and that we can get the development the country needs without destroying.  Please sign the Charter and persuade others to do so.  We want thousands – millions! – of signatories. 

Then, as a reward, you can watch the wonderful film our volunteer, Cara, has made to promote it: ‘Your countryside needs you.  Be a hero.  Join the fight.’  

1 Response to “Save our Countryside! CPRE’s new Charter”

  1. 1 Arthur Franks July 17, 2013 at 9:15 am

    yes the government does need a good shake up! I am astounded that brownfield sites are not being used, spaces in our villages are being filled with ‘mansions’ instead of affordable housing for local people. Houses are being built in places were there are no jobs. How many times does it happen that there is no one from a department to turn up and face the general public (without any explanation) or do not even issue a relevant statement.

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