Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Our letter to the Prime Minister to save the countryside

Taking our Charter to the Prime Minister Taking our Charter to the Prime Minister Photo: © CPRE / Stefano Cagnoni

Our charter is asking for better protection for the countryside, a fair say for local communities in planning for the places where they live and work, and more housing – but of good quality and in the right places.

Our letter

Dear Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned are petitioning you to Save our Countryside by supporting the three demands of the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s charter:

  • End the needless sacrifice of our countryside by ensuring that previously-developed brownfield sites are used first
  • Give communities a fair say through a planning system that gives local people a stronger voice
  • Build more affordable housing – in the right places to provide affordable homes in sustainable locations

Since CPRE’s Charter to save our countryside was launched in 15 July 2013, more than half a million houses have been planned for open countryside, with a further 210,000 in the Green Belt. The scale of this projected development is unprecedented.  This needless sacrifice of our green spaces should not be tolerated when England currently has suitable brownfield land for at least one million new homes. This wasted land should be used to make our towns and cities better places in which to live.  

We welcome your Government’s support for urban regeneration and neighbourhood planning, and planning guidance which has placed more emphasis on protecting Green Belts and the intrinsic beauty and character of the wider countryside. However, both the statistical evidence and the local experiences of our members and branch volunteers, show that further action is urgently needed.

On behalf of almost 81,000 people who have signed our charter, CPRE would welcome the opportunity to work with your Government to reform the planning policies which are putting our matchless countryside at risk, damaging local democracy and stifling the delivery of the homes we desperately need.

Yours sincerely,

Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive
Campaign to Protect Rural England
5-11 Lavington Street

Along with:

Alan Hollinghurst
Alice Oswald
Sir Andrew Motion
Sir Anish Kapoor CBE
Ben Goldsmith
Benjamin Zephaniah
Bill Bryson OBE
Lady Caroline Cranbrook
Clive Aslet MP
Clive Betts MP
Cornelia Parker OBE
David Lodge CBE
Dame Fiona Reynolds
Jane Gardham OBE
Jeanette Winterson OBE
Jo Brand
Viscount Norwich
John Le Carre
Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Glancey
Jonathan Porritt CBE
Julian Barnes
Ken Howard OBE
Lord Marlesford
Lord Richard Rogers
Maggie Hambling CBE
Marina Lewycka
Martin Horwood MP
Lord Melvyn Bragg
Michael Morpurgo OBE
Natalie Bennett
Nick Herbert MP
Dame Penelope Lively
Penny Vincenzi
Philip Pullman CBE
Sir Quentin Blake
Richard Mabey
Robert Mcfarlane
Rose Tremain CBE
Satish Kumar
Simon Armitage CBE
Sir Max Hastings
Sir Terry Farrell
Sir Tony Robinson
Tim Yeo MP
Tom Flood
Tony Burton CBE
Tony Juniper
Virginia McKenna OBE
Zac Goldsmith MP

Making our voice even stronger

The support we have had from thousands of campaingers has made our voice stronger in Parliament, helping us secure these and other successes. But we need to do more.

We now want the new Government to make a firm commitment to protecting the countryside by clearly prioritising the use of brownfield over greenfield land in national planning policy. We need to go on working in every part of England to defend our countryside from the wrong kind of development.

Please join us to help us save our countryside for now and future generations.

Join us today

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