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Press release: ‘Nobody wants to build on the Chilterns’, or do they?

Latimer, Chess Valley Latimer, Chess Valley Photo: © CPRE Bucks

8 February 2017

The Buckinghamshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has broadly welcomed yesterday’s Housing White Paper, and in particular the confirmation that the green belt is to ‘keep all its existing protections’.

CPRE Buckinghamshire is however concerned that protection measures may not be strong enough to stop planning decisions in the green belt and Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, one of the UK's largest housebuilders, commented that "nobody wants to build on the Chilterns, or the Malvern's or the beautiful parts of Britain”. But this is not the case.

Chiltern and South Bucks district councils have recently run a consultation proposing the possible release of green belt at 15 different sites. If accepted, these proposals could see the release of over 400 hectares of green belt in and around the Chilterns.

The White Paper also promises a further consultation on how local authorities estimate housing need. Louise Hartley, Branch Manager at CPRE Buckinghamshire said, “A proposed review of housing targets is positive news but the outcome must ensure that targets are actually realistic and deliverable, taking account of constraints such as green belt land.”

“We call on MPs and local authorities to help ensure that the positive messages outlined in the Housing White Paper actually translate into achievable housing targets and appropriate, well-designed development that does not threaten the Buckinghamshire countryside.”    

Media release date: 8 February 2017


Notes to editors

[1] The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. CPRE Bucks is registered as a charity (No. 211266 / 116336) and company (No. 9186100) in England. For more information see

[2] BBC News, Housebuilder L&G wants 'reassessment' of green belt

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