Reforming Planning Law

Cornwall CPRE is putting pressure on the Government and local MPs to make changes to the Government’s White Paper, ‘A Vision for Planning’

A series of other environmental organisations have linked with the CPRE to create a new joint vision, for the Government to rethink their proposed planning laws

The countryside charity Cornwall CPRE, says their version of a Vision for Planning is being put forward in partnership with a group of other environmental organisations.  It gives a new and powerful lead to creating a locally-led, democratic planning system for new houses, that puts people, the countryside and nature at its heart.

The shared vision comes from a united coalition of eighteen housing, planning, transport, environmental, heritage and public health organisations, including the countryside charity CPRE. It sets out a series of key measures for how the government can maximise the potential of planning, as we recover from Covid.

The organisations have worked together to forge an alternative to the government’s controversial Planning White Paper, published last August. Their joint vision calls on the government to rethink major elements of its proposals and work with stakeholders to deliver a planning system fit for the 21st century.

Cornwall CPRE Chair Richard Stubbs says, “We all deserve a home we can afford to live in, to have a say in shaping the communities around us and the right to be consulted on the impact of development on our countryside and precious landscapes. Nowhere is this more important than in a beautiful part of the country and popular tourist destination like ours. But as things stand, under the Government’s current proposals, the opportunity to influence building development in our communities would be reduced even further”.

“Cornwall CPRE believes this joint initiative is the best vision yet for the future of planning with the potential to create thriving communities and stimulate the economy whilst caring for nature and respecting the countryside. It clearly sets out a tool box of policies which address the weaknesses of the proposed planning system.”

Among the new planning policies welcomed by Cornwall CPRE:

  • Giving communities, not just Cornwall Council, a legally guaranteed say on specific local planning issues, as well as involving them in wider planning of their areas
  • Central government should support local authorities to ensure they have the tools and resources to keep the Local Plan relevant and that its environmental safeguards are properly enforced.
  • Legislation to putting sustainable development at the heart of planning, to ensure delivery of new housing is sound environmentally, economically and socially.
  • Delivering good quality affordable homes in the right places, to meet local needs
  • Better protection and enhancement of our current level of protection for wildlife habitats.
  • Prioritising the use of brownfield sites, such as previously built on or industrial land, to protect our fields, countryside and wildlife.
  • Better location of new houses and a greatly improved public transport system, to reduce our dependency on cars

Before Christmas, the Government announced a welcome revision of its housing numbers ‘algorithm’, used to decide the targets for new housing throughout the country. However, this was only a part of a range of potentially damaging proposals put forward by the Government last year. They are expected to make a further announcement in March 2021 about the extent to which it will modify the original proposals in the White Paper.

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A joint vision for planning, 2021 has been developed and supported by the following:

  1.  CPRE The countryside charity
  2.  Friends of the Earth
  3.  RSPB
  4.  Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
  5.  Wildlife Trusts
  6.  Woodland Trust
  7.  Green Alliance
  8.  Open Spaces Society
  9.  The RamblersAssociation
  10.   The Heritage Alliance
  11.   Association of Local Environmental Records Centres
  12.   Bat Conservation Trust
  13.   Campaign for National Parks
  14.   Cycling UK
  15.   Mammal Society
  16.   Town and Country Planning Association
  17.   UK Green Building Council
  18.   Wildlife and Countryside Link