If we value rural Britain, we can’t build houses all over it - by Simon Jenkins

The countryside should not be up for speculative land grab – we need clear rules about which areas are open for development

Government housing policy has lost all contact with planning Britain’s countryside. This week the Campaign to Protect Rural England is up in arms over house-building in green belts, and over the lack of what it calls affordable housing. These are a distraction. It is planning as such that has collapsed.

The CPRE is concerned that 8,000 houses were built last year on green-belt land, or 24,000 over the past decade, and that hardly any were affordable. This has predictably raised a green light over all green belts, with developers rushing forward with applications for 460,000 new homes now in process. Already, unplanned and sprawling “toy-town” estates are spreading across the home counties, the Fens, the Somerset Levels and the Severn Valley. It has sucked development into the south-east of England, denuded town centres and put ever more pressure on transport corridors. It is the worst sort of “non-planning”.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/06/planning-system-uk-landscapes-listing-rural-britain?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Opinion+UK+connected&utm_term=282857&subid=994064&CMP=ema_opinionconnectuk

 

 


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