The planning experts


Have You Heard What They Are Trying To Do To Our Countryside?

This is a 10-point summary of our briefing on the Draft National Planning Policy Framework (2 pages PDF):

  1. CPRE supports development where it will meet local established needs for economic growth and housing, especially affordable housing for local people.
  2. We advocate development of brownfield sites before greenfield sites as they make more efficient use of a finite land supply
  3. Yes, the planning system has become overcomplicated and some reform is now needed. CPRE had anticipated a system that would be simpler, less adversarial, promote truly sustainable development, take away top down driven plans, and reinvigorate the involvement of local people in shaping the places.
  4. Yet the Draft National Planning Policy Framework undermines these fine ideas and is a charter for largely unrestricted development in our Hampshire countryside.
  5. The Framework revolves around the concept of "sustainable" development but there is little reference to any acknowledged principles of sustainability. To all intents and purposes the Framework actively promotes development anywhere it would be commercially viable - which in Hampshire means almost anywhere.
  6. It would provide little protection for our countryside as the Local Plan would only be the "starting point" in deciding applications, and objectors to development proposed in conflict with the Local Plan would face a clear top down mandate to the local authority to give consent unless the adverse impact would "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh the benefits - a much higher hurdle than today.
  7. Transport impacts would no longer be a valid basis for refusal unless the impacts would be severe - a charter for more, not less, traffic on rural roads.
  8. The much vaunted "localism in planning" would have little place in a system where a refusal by a local authority would in most cases simply be overturned on appeal following the Government's new presumption of "yes" to development.
  9. It would no longer become possible to build small developments of affordable housing in rural areas designed to meet local need in perpetuity. Affordable housing could only come with market housing to pay for it.
  10. Crucially, protection of the countryside for the sake of its intrinsic character and beauty, a feature of planning for the last 60 years, would be removed for all our countryside which is not protected by a national landscape or nature conservation designation.

CPRE Hampshire, like the National Trust and other environmental bodies, will be responding vigorously to the Framework and urges everyone who values Hampshire's beautiful landscape to do the same. Join us in this battle for our children's legacy.

Last updated 26th September 2011


Click here to read the briefing in full (2 pages PDF)
NPPF response


Currently the other main planning issue in Hampshire is the proposed Fareham Strategic Development Area which calls for a new town of up to 10,000 new homes.

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