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Your Views on Housing

Matilda Jones
By Matilda Jones
27th October 2020

As the government proposes major reforms to planning, we have been at the heart of the debate. 

We’ve found that there is enough brownfield land for 1.3 million homes – enough to meet government housing targets for the next five years. There is already enough land to build the homes we need – so why deregulate the planning system?

The pandemic has caused a backslide in much of the sustainability progress that the world was making, as we simply had to cope with a crisis and throw whatever safety measures we could at it in order to cope. We have seen a huge rise in the use of plastics and single-use goods, increased litter throughout the countryside as well as a strain on popular beauty spots with greater influxes of visitors, greater food waste as stockpiling became the norm, and more individuals using cars for journeys that they might have made using public transport previously. This is offset in part by less air travel, fewer people travelling to work, and many factories and businesses closing for a period of time, lowering emissions.  The effect on the economy and people’s lives has been massive. Whilst a global pandemic is not what anyone would have looked for in order to help the world to breathe a little, there have, undoubtedly been some environmental benefits. 

However, during this time, the government has also been strategising regarding plans to rebuild the economy, which is in severe crisis. With their “Build, Build, Build!” initiative, they seek to reduce planning restrictions to make it easier for developers to acquire permission digitally, minimising the opportunity for public voice and appeal. This is being implemented via a complex ‘zoning’ system that will mean deregulation of an “outdated” planning system when it comes to creating the well-designed, affordable homes that people need. Whilst we acknowledge that the current system is not perfect, we do not believe that a minimising of democracy can be the solution, when we are already seeing an increase in poorly-designed homes that have not prioritised brownfield sites first. 

CPRE has a different vision for a resilient countryside after coronavirus – you can download our manifesto at 

In our bid to call on the public to help regenerate the countryside we want to understand your thoughts on the current housing situation near you. Please could you take a moment to fill in our short questionnaire so that we can see what you think, and use our findings in our ongoing campaign to MPs and government in order to make a better, cleaner world for everyone.

Fill in the survey here