The civic movement welcomes the campaign by CPRE to Save our Countryside.

Letter sent to The Telegraph on 15 July.

The civic movement welcomes the campaign by CPRE to Save our Countryside.

It is evident that a large part of the housing crisis would disappear if existing planning permissions were implemented, and if existing housing stock were used properly. The day may come when we have to go into existing Green Belt and AONBs but we're a long way from that at the moment.

Developers want to build on green fields and green belt sites because they are easy to develop and ensure a greater profit. Houses on 'brownfield sites' can be difficult and expensive to build on, and are less profitable overall for developers. However, planning policy should not be about helping developers profiteer, but to the man in the street, this is exactly what it is doing. Green belt policy has helped protect the unique character of many rural communities and historic towns; places that have evolved over hundreds of years and have kept their distinctiveness. Places that we all call, “Everyday England”.

If some rural land has to be freed up for housing, the Government should not be rolling over and giving the large housing developers what they want but should be allowing local councils and local people to decide what is best for their area.

The Government should be standing up for local communities, not developers.

Paula Ridley,
Civic Voice