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Campaigners welcome new planning guidance on Green Belt

Campaigners welcome new planning guidance on Green Belt

The Surrey Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England has welcomed the new planning guidance issued by the Government which seeks to strengthen Green Belt protection within the planning system. Andy Smith, CPRE Surrey branch director, said: “The announcement of new planning guidance by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, indicates that the Government is keen to toughen the rules against development on Green Belt land. This is good news, as the guidance should, if properly followed by local authorities, make it more difficult for developers, and those within councils who support ‘economic growth at any price’, to grab Green Belt countryside and build on it.

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Campaigners call for better protection of Surrey’s countryside

Campaigners call for better protection of Surrey’s countryside

Campaigners in Surrey are launching fresh calls for changes to national planning policies by urging local people to sign a Charter to “Save the Countryside”. The Surrey branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) wants to put stronger protection for green spaces firmly on the agenda ahead of next year’s general election.

CPRE has published new research which reveals plans for over 700,000 houses in the countryside across England – including 200,000 allocated for the Green Belt. The research also shows that over two thirds of appeals on planning applications for major housing developments have gone in favour of developers in the last year.

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CPRE Surrey welcomes Minister’s comments on Green Belt protection

CPRE Surrey has given a “cautious welcome” to comments by the Planning Minister on the role and importance of the Green Belt. In a letter to Sir Michael Pitt, Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate, the Minister for Planning, Nick Boles, emphasises that under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Green Belt boundaries may only be altered “in exceptional circumstances” and reminds the Inspectorate that reviews of Green Belt boundaries should only be undertaken where a local council “has chosen that path” and should not be imposed on a district by Inspectors. The letter expresses concern at the wording of the recent Inspector’s report on the Reigate and Banstead Local Plan which, the Minister says, “invited misinterpretation of government policy and misunderstanding about the local authority’s role”.

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Threats to Surrey countryside are highlighted at campaign meeting

Surrey’s countryside is under threat from new waves of housebuilding, airport expansion and mineral extraction – despite the Government’s assurances about safeguarding the Green Belt. This was the message for members of CPRE Surrey at their annual meeting on 27 April held at the Abraham Dixon Hall in Leatherhead. Speakers at the meeting highlighted the dangers to the Surrey countryside from growing development pressures and from the Government’s policy of promoting economic growth even at the expense of the environment. Members from all over the county attended the meeting...
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Enthusiastic backing for Surrey Hills AONB boundary review

Members of the Surrey Branch of CPRE have thrown their weight behind Natural England’s decision to review the boundaries of the county’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).   Tim Harrold, Vice-President of CPRE Surrey, told a packed meeting of CPRE members that this preliminary review represented “a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the protection afforded some of the most attractive countryside in Surrey.”   The review will look at the possibility of expanding the nationally designated Surrey Hills AONB to include the locally designated Areas of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). This could see...
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