Planning and Housing
Good land-use planning is key to environmental protection and has always been one of CPRE Hampshire's top campaigning priorities. We have a well established Planning & Policy Group that deals with the wider planning concerns in Hampshire. Our Planning in Hampshire page gives more information on our planning work, current issues and how we can help.
Waste of Space
CPRE has launched a national campaign called Waste of Space, which asks people to spot spaces in towns, cities and villages that could be regenerated for new housing. At the last count, there was enough brownfield land for around 1.5 million homes - that could save a huge area of countryside while providing the homes we need. This follows earlier calls to make better use of brownfield land for our needed housing development. In June 2014 CPRE Hampshire wrote to local MPs in support of a brownfield first policy - see article.
In Autumn 2014 we invited you to help us identify sites in your local town where housing could be built. We received over 400 submissions which you can view on the campaign map on the national campaign website. See also press release (Nov 2014).
Community Control or Countryside Chaos?
Two years have passed since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and a new analysis by CPRE shows that there is "shoddy development in the countryside while vacant sites within towns remain undeveloped". At the time we warned that too much weight would be given to economic growth over other factors. An analysis shows that 39 out of 58 major housing developments have been approved on appeal after rejection by local planning authorities. The first link below is a newsletter article summarizing the conclusions of CPRE's analysis, while the second link takes you to the full report at CPRE's national website.
Here We Go Again
It seems that the Coalition has been discussing proposals to weaken greenbelt protection in order to help boost house building. Not only will such measures contravene earlier promises made when the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was under development, this seems premature when the NPPF has yet to bed in. This article outlines the challenge facing CPRE Hampshire and others who want to protect our countryside.
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
The NPPF came into force on 27th March 2013. While CPRE Hampshire broadly welcomed the final NPPF as published a year ago, a recent analysis raises significant concerns about whether the reformed planning system is capable of securing development the country needs and preventing damaging schemes in the wrong locations. Listed below are key documents and press releases issued during this campaign, including a summary of the recent analysis:
- CPRE - A Voice for Communities - Parts of Hampshire at risk of greenfield development. A CPRE Hampshire perspective on the national report listed below (April 2013)
- Countryside Promises: Planning Realities - this new report that highlights how views of local communities are being over-ruled (March 2013)
- Is this really the plan? First anniversary raises significant concerns of NPPF in practice (Press release: 19 Mar 2013)
- Press statement on final NPPF - Christopher Naiper, Chairman, CPRE Hampshire (29 Mar 2012)
- Planning reforms are unbalanced (Press release: 21 Dec 2011)
- NPPF: Planning in Hampshire - an article from our Autumn Newsletter 2011 which supported the case for reform but argues that changes to the draft NNPF were needed.
- Have You Heard What They Are Trying To Do To Our Countryside? 10-point summary :: 2-page briefing (PDF) :: Detailed 38-page response to consultation (Sep 2011)
- "It is very bad ... write to your local MP (Press release: 9 Aug 2011) :: template letter
Local Planning & Localism
Following the government's scrapping of the South East Plan, local authorities now have much more say about planning issues in their area. Local plans comprise a series of documents including a core strategy, a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). In addition the new 'Localism' Act provides opportunities for local communities to have an important say about planing issues in their community. CPRE Hampshire have run seminars and CPRE nationally produce guides on neighbourhood planning.
Charter for Planning Reform
CPRE has recently launched its charter for planning reform: Making localism work for the countryside. The 4 page leaflet welcomes the coalition's government plans for a radical reform of the planning system. CPRE has long called for more public involvement in planning. The charter lists 9 key points including giving more weight to parish plans, a countryside that is valued and a sound evidence base.
Issued by CPRE national office, you can read the charter here (PDF).
We spend much of our time responding to proposals for major developments where the housing numbers are beyond what is sustainable or needed locally. A major concern of ours is that many people cannot afford to buy homes in the countryside. CPRE Hampshire is highlighting the need for affordable housing in Hampshire.
Eco-Towns: Are They Really So Eco?
The last government announced a list of sites for potential 'eco-towns'. One of these is the proposed Whitehill/Bordon eco-town on a former Ministry of Defence site. Although a brownfield site and an opportunity to create sorely needed facilities, there remain problems with infrastructure and transport. John Venning's article outlines the pros and cons of this proposed eco-town (May 2009).
SHUV (South Hampshire's Unheard Voices)
SHUV (South Hampshire's Unheard Voices) is an alliance of community groups originally formed to oppose the (now defunct) regional plan to build 80,000 homes in south Hampshire. There remain proposals for major developments such as over 6,000 houses at Welborne (formerly the Fareham Strategic Development Area).
A Mega-shed Near You?
There have been several proposals in our area to develop large distribution warehouses. One is on the site of Andover airfield, now restyled the Andover Business Park. Another was just over the border at Greenham in West Berkshire where the traffic would flow onto the A339 Basingstoke-Newbury road. CPRE has campaigned vigorously against these development where they are totally out of scale with their rural environment.
CPRE Hampshire have written to MPs about how developers are targeting the countryside. We call for changes to the NPPF - click here to read press release (Mar 2015)
- Planning (CPRE national campaign)
- CPRE planning policy (PDF)
- CPRE policy on sustainable development
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