Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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From delivering affordable housing to safeguarding the countryside we love, the planning system affects all of us. The Government is currently reviewing its planning rulebook, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and it will have a significant bearing on our countryside and communities for many years to come.

The campaign

We believe that people should be at the heart of decisions made about development in their local area, but time and again, decisions are made that don’t see their needs met, while developer profits rise.

The proposed reforms to the planning system are supposed to help tackle the housing crisis, but we are concerned that, as they stand, they won’t help us build the affordable homes we need or safeguard our countryside and green spaces.

It is possible to build the homes that people need without needlessly harming our beautiful countryside. This is genuine sustainable development and we can only achieve it with a strong planning system that:

  1. Supports local democracy by adhering to neighbourhood and local plans.
  2. Ensures realistic and high quality development based on genuine need not market demand.
  3. Delivers more affordable homes by closing legal loopholes that put developer profits first.
  4. Adopts a true ‘brownfield first’ approach to development.
  5. Protects our countryside for current and future generations.

What has happened so far?

The Government launched a public consultation on their proposed changes to the NPPF at the beginning of March. You can read our initial response to these proposals in our briefing.

The consultation closed on 10 May, and CPRE – as a network of national, regional and local groups - submitted a single, unified response that you can read here. We also lobbied MPs and key government officials behind the scenes, whilst over 6,000 CPRE supporters joined the campaign by writing to their local MP asking them to put communities and the countryside first.

Throughout the consultation period, we wrote a series of blogs detailing more about the failures of the NPPF and what we want from the planning system going forward – find these linked at the bottom of the page.

What next?

We will continue applying pressure to government as they analyse the consultation responses and write up the final version of the NPPF, which we expect to see around the middle of July.

However, no matter what is published in July, we will continue to campaign for the best outcomes for the countryside through planning sector reforms.

We are also working on the Raynsford Review, which has been set up to identify how the government can reform the English planning system.

The interim findings of the report were published on May 15. You can read our comment on the findings here.

So watch this space and sign up to our mailing list to make sure you’re kept in the loop.


Find out more about what we are calling for:

Planning For People

Five reasons why we should use brownfield first

Why people need the Green Belt

Saving beauty for the people 

Restoring democratic planning

Homes that rural people can afford to live in 

Growth - but not at any cost

Exceptional Circumstances: How the draft National Planning Policy Framework fails rural communities

Putting housing over heritage threatens rural democracy and wildlife


Planning shapes the places where we live and work.


CPRE view

Good land-use planning is the unsung hero of environmental protection. Good planning can help slow the growth in road traffic, encourage urban regeneration, curb urban sprawl, protect the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside, and safeguard wildlife habitats.

The issues:

Petersfield: when communities have a say, planning can create better living spaces

Making planning better and fairer

The character of rural England is being slowly eroded by a range of development such as housing, transport and energy infrastructure.



Our planning successes

Our planning successes

We have a long record of campaign successes that shows just how important CPRE's planning work is for protecting the countryside.


Taking our Charter to the Prime Minister

What we've achieved with our Charter to save the countryside

Over the past two years we’ve been running our campaign to save the countryside and asking people to sign our Charter.

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