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Oxley Woods, Milton Keynes Oxley Woods, Milton Keynes Photo credit: Oxley Woods Photos

Everyone needs a place to live, but the way in which this is being done means that urban sprawl is threatening Buckinghamshire’s green spaces. Developers should be making more use of previously developed sites within our towns.

CPRE believes that to solve the housing shortage facing both rural and urban areas, we must build the right types of housing in the right places.

We believe everyone is entitled to live in a home that is truly affordable and that planning policy should seek to deliver that housing. The current planning system allows house builders to unnecessarily target countryside for development, creating a growing threat to high-quality open space and farmland.

CPRE has a long record of campaigning on local and national planning issues. Protecting the countryside against damaging development is a core part of our work.

CPRE campaigns for:

  • The amount of land supplied for new housing to be based on realistic assessments of what the public, private and social sectors are likely to deliver.
  • Prioritisation of appropriate brownfield sites for new housing, instead of sacrificing the countryside.
  • An increased delivery of the right housing by investing in affordable housing to meet local needs, particularly in rural areas
  • Diversification of the house-building market, with small- and medium-size house builders, custom and self-builders, and councils playing a greater role in the development process.
  • Good-quality housing design with high environmental standards, complementing the local character.
  • Better guidance to local authorities on how to set realistic housebuilding targets when preparing strategic housing market assessments.

CPRE achievements:

  • CPRE’s calls for improved funding and assistance for brownfield remediation were answered in 2016 when the government committed £2.2 billion of funding to support brownfield development.
  • CPRE’s 2016 briefing 'Set Up to Fail' showed why our countryside is being increasingly threatened, as housebuilding targets produced by local authorities are not being balanced with sensible planning for infrastructure, consideration of environmental constraints, or realistic assessments of what housebuilders can deliver.
  • Through strong research and influencing, CPRE was pivotal in getting brownfield on the political agenda of all the major parties in their 2015 election manifestos.
  • In 2014 CPRE and the University of the West of England published a research paper revealing that brownfield land in England has the capacity for at least 1 million new homes and that brownfield sites replenish at the same rate they are built out. More recent research by CPRE in November 2016 found that a number of local authorities have been able to identify a further 10% more brownfield opportunities since 2014.
  • CPRE’s ‘Housing Foresight’ series seeks to provoke discussion and further apply pressure for a better, more countryside-friendly approach to critical housing issues through evidence-based research papers.
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woodland glade