Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Planning shapes the places where we live and work. Planning shapes the places where we live and work. Photo: © CPRE

CPRE view

Good land-use planning is the unsung hero of environmental protection. Good planning can help slow the growth in road traffic, encourage urban regeneration, curb urban sprawl, protect the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside, and safeguard wildlife habitats.

Effective planning is now more important than ever: a drive for economic growth and an increasing population are leading to more development encroaching on the countryside. Planning is fundamental to how we live and planning decisions affect us all. Even so, local communities often have very little input and find it hard to engage in the complex process. CPRE wants planning to be fair and engaging while protecting the countryside and regenerating our towns and villages.

CPRE and planning

CPRE was formed in 1926 by Sir Patrick Abercrombie to limit urban sprawl and ribbon development. Influencing the planning system underpins our campaigning activities to this day. Our local volunteers scrutinise an estimated 100,000 planning applications a year and play an important part in contributing to the preparation of local plans. Nationally we have played a leading role in informing, influencing and helping to implement Government policy, particularly on housing provision. The planning system has a huge impact on all aspects of the countryside from housing development to light pollution.

We want to see:

  • An open and accessible planning system that encourages more communities to engage with the planning process.
  • A Government-led national land use strategy that includes the better protection and management of our land.Strong and up to date local and neighbourhood plans that protect the intrinsic worth of the countryside as well as identify suitable locations for new housing.
  • High-quality, well-designed, energy-efficient and appropriately located homes to meet local needs and enhance distinctiveness.
  • A fair appeals process to provide fully justified planning decisions.
  • A community right of appeal against speculative housing developments that run contrary to a prepared or finalised neighbourhood plan.

If you are looking for help with a planning related query then please visit our Planning Help website.

The issues:

Petersfield: when communities have a say, planning can create better living spaces

Making planning better and fairer

The character of rural England is being slowly eroded by a range of development such as housing, transport and energy infrastructure.


Our planning successes

Our planning successes

We have a long record of campaign successes that shows just how important CPRE's planning work is for protecting the countryside.



Taking our Charter to the Prime Minister

What we've achieved with our Charter to save the countryside

Over the past two years we’ve been running our campaign to save the countryside and asking people to sign our Charter.


It's a great time to get your community together to plan your neighbourhood

Get involved in planning your neighbourhood

Neighbourhood Development Plans help communities secure the protection and enhancement of their local environment while providing housing, business, transport and energy development where they feel it is needed.

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Hay field harvest

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