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Press Release: 9th August 2011

Countryside faces biggest threat in 60 years

A legacy for loss

The Campaign to Protect Rural Englands Hampshire chairman has reacted with despair yet determination this week following the Government's publication on 25th July of a draft National Planning Policy Framework that would throw out sixty years of environmental protection. The consultation is open until October 17th and the charity is asking people to write to MPs and sign an online petition to persuade the Government of the folly of the proposed changes.

Christopher Napier said:

"It is very bad. Outside our national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty there would be no piece of Greenfield land in Hampshire that would be safe from building. This framework is a charter for essentially unrestricted development on any piece of land that might make the developer money, largely without regard to our love for our countryside or the beauty of our natural environment."

The awful consequences of the new Framework would be:

  • A top-down mandate to local authorities to approve development; the presumption has to be "yes", even if approval would override the Local Plan
  • Clear priority to be given to economic growth over environmental protection
  • No more protection of countryside for its intrinsic character and beauty
  • No more priority for brownfield to be used before greenfields are built on
  • The much vaunted 'Localism in planning' becomes meaningless refusal by a local authority to reflect local views would easily be overturned on appeal
  • Transport grounds would not normally be a basis for refusal.

Nationally, the CPRE is working with the National Trust, to throw all of their members' weight behind a campaign to turn the tide of the new planning framework. Locally, CPRE Hampshire will be responding vigorously to the draft document and urges everyone who values our county's beautiful landscape to do the same. Anthony McEwen, director of CPRE Hampshire in Martyr Worthy, near Winchester said:

"Join us in this battle for our children's legacy. Make your views known to your local MP and councillors and sign up to the nationally sponsored petitions at:
http://bit.ly/p1FbsC or http://bit.ly/p9QRp1

- Ends -

CPRE/H/217


Notes to editors

  1. More details on the proposed National Planning Policy Framework can be found at: http://bit.ly/pNluxz
  2. CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Keren Burney, media & communications officer, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01730 894123   Mobile: 07876 780065
Email: kburney@compege.co.uk

For information on CPRE, please contact:
Anthony McEwen, Director, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01962 779185   Mobile: 07717 296025
Email:anthony.mcewen@cprehampshire.org.uk


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