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Our reaction to the government’s housing plan

Matilda Jones
By Matilda Jones
25th July 2023

The government has today announced its long term housing plan, and although there are some encouraging signs, we’re urging the government to rethink development plans.

Commenting on the government’s long-term plan for housing, announced today, Roger Mortlock, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

“There are some positive indications that the government is listening on planning. Signs of a shift towards a genuine brownfield first planning policy, with a commitment to regenerate town and city centres, are to be welcomed. So too are the warm words on affordable housing, building the right homes in the right places, and promises to avoid ‘concreting over the countryside. 

It’s promising to see that ministers appear to be trying to balance the competing demands on the countryside to deliver housing, farming, recreation and nature.  

However, this is not just a challenge in the south. There are large towns and cities up and down England in need of regeneration. Cities across the Midlands and the north have good universities, attractive surrounding countryside and plenty of underused brownfield sites crying out for regeneration. We shouldn’t believe that Oxford and Cambridge are the only places in England where new jobs can be created. 

We also need to see the government push through promised changes on speeding up local plan adoption and providing more genuinely affordable homes on large development sites. 

Furthermore, we urge the government to reconsider the momentous impact large scale development around Cambridge would have on the environment. In the most water stressed part of the country, this could be the death knell for streams and rivers that are already heavily depleted and dangerously polluted. Over-abstraction of water is a threat to drinking water supplies, farming and the health of the countryside.”