Help defend the countryside from over-inflated housing targets
A CPRE appeal in response to the Housing White Paper
We’ve achieved an enormous amount in shifting government thinking on housebuilding in the countryside.
Just a few months ago, we feared that the Housing
White Paper, which sets out the Government’s blueprint for getting more houses
built, would herald a fresh assault on the countryside and the Green Belt.
our campaigning has paid off – the Government has
listened and the White Paper uses many of our ideas and proposes many of our
Support for more brownfield development
No liberalisation of the planning system
Addressing failures of the housing market
Maintaining existing Green Belt protection
spite of this important victory, we still have serious concerns, more so now
our expert campaigners have scrutinised the detail.
And with a general election just around the corner and housing policy a key
battleground, we have a lot more important campaigning to do in tandem with our
work on the White Paper. We expect the Government will continue to work on the White
Paper in the background while the election heats up at the fore, and we must
not let them get distracted.
top priority relating to the White Paper is to make the Ministers listen on the
biggest danger that remains to our countryside: over-inflated housing targets.
The current system for calculating housing targets is failing to deliver the
homes we need or to safeguard the countryside.
At present, market-led demand and economic
aspiration is driving housing targets, forcing councils to allocate sites for
development far in excess of what the construction industry is willing or able
to build. As a result, developers are able to cherry-pick the easier, most
profitable sites, often in open countryside, while brownfield sites go to
As part of the White Paper, Ministers will soon
announce a consultation on a new method councils must use when calculating
housing targets. This presents us with an opportunity to persuade the
Government to overhaul the current system in favour of targets based on genuine
local need, accurate population projections, and the numbers developers can
If the Government is to live up to its promise of
more new homes, while protecting the Green Belt and the wider countryside, then
they must once again listen to us. Changing the minds of Ministers isn’t easy,
but the Housing White Paper has shown that we can do it. However, the credible
research and persuasive and effective campaigning necessary does not come
cheap, and we only have small window in which to make a truly irresistible case
Please, if you can, help us finish the job by making a donation today.