Land News

Planners increase pressure on the countryside

Lawson Fairbank, 10th June 2007

Countryside campaigners in the West Midlands say the Regional Assembly must stand firm against Government pressure to greatly increase housing numbers in the countryside.

Campaigners believe that this would fuel a greenfield housing bonanza which would wreck prospects for urban regeneration in the region and destroy many acres of countryside, including parts of the Green Belt.

The Campaign to protect Rural England (CPRE) warns that this will lead to developers cherry picking greenfield sites in response to market demand, and not to the provision of much needed affordable housing.

The Country Land & Business Association has criticised the absence of any requirements placed on local authorities making them create planning policies which will deliver a diversified and vibrant rural economy.

The East Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy is seeking to provide a broad development strategy for the entire East Midlands region up until 2026. The underlying core objective is to promote and develop a 'more sustainable pattern of development'.

Under pressure from the Government, the Regional Assembly is proposing to increase housing numbers above levels it previously said were consistent with a strategy of concentrating development in urban areas. The Assembly is also considering further ways to increase housing numbers to meet inflated Government predictions of demand.

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