MPs asked to help protect the countryside

All the MPs in Kent have been sent a detailed map of their constituencies highlighting the proportion of countryside and the amount of it that is unprotected in a bid to raise awareness and build support for our campaigns to protect the countryside.

Elham Valley, photo by Avidly Abide

Elham Valley, photo by Avidly Abide

The maps detail how much land is in the Green Belt, protected by Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) status, covered by a local plan (in Kent only Shepway and Gravesham have local plans in place) and how much is unprotected.

As a result MPs should have a better understanding of the countryside in their area and how well it is protected. CPRE Kent hopes that the new map will encourage our local MPs to help protect the countryside from inappropriate development, and ensure that much-needed new homes are built in the right places.

Kent countryside by Grant Cherrington

Kent countryside by Grant Cherrington

To meet housing need without harming precious countryside, CPRE Kent is calling on MPs, Government and local planning authorities to work together to:

  • put in place more effective policies to ensure suitable brownfield sites are redeveloped before allocating greenfield sites for development;
  • provide better protection for our precious Green Belt, AONBs and National Parks, as well as our wider countryside that provides valued, local green space; and
  • achieve comprehensive, up-to-date local plan coverage as soon as possible.

Alongside the new constituency maps, CPRE has released an interactive map illustrating the planning status of local plans for all constituencies across England [1].

Richard Knox-Johnston, CPRE Kent Vice President comments:

“We want to help our MPs to understand just how much pressure the countryside in their constituencies are under, why this is the case, and what he can do about it.

“In particular, we need them to encourage their local councils to identify brownfield land suitable for new homes. We desperately need more affordable homes where local people need them.”

[1] The new interactive planning map published by CPRE shows how much of our green space is under threat, as progress on local plans stalls in town halls across England. It shows which councils have an up-to-date, post-National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) local plan, and which do not.

October 1st 2015.

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