Lancashire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Special Appeal 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017 12:12

Site of refused development at Coupe Green Site of refused development at Coupe Green Photo: © John Bremers

Our Branch has launched its 2017 special appeal.

So many of our members have contacted us this year regarding the avalanche of housebuilding in the countryside and around their villages that we have struggled a little to cope with responding to you all. We do try to respond particularly to all our members, as well as help all the public who contact us directly.

We have now put more planning advice on our website to help you all with a basic introduction to responding to proposals for invasive and bad developments in your area: I hope many of you will look at this and respond to your Councils who should be protecting your countryside and building more on brownfield (previously developed) land.

And this is why we are appealing for a little help for our over-stretched funds to help us to respond more fully to all the Local Plans and applications which flow into us. We employ a professional Planning Manager and that makes a huge difference in responding strongly and effectively on planning issues but we need your help to continue this. Every little helps - so I do hope you can respond as generously as you feel able.

What have we been doing this year? We examined the huge draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposals and the enormous demand for building on the Green Belt throughout Greater Manchester, Bolton, Wigan, Bury etc. We co-ordinated all the information many of you sent us (over 90 of you!) and responded with a very strong criticism of the plans. Greater Manchester Combined Authority is now going to re-issue and the Metro Mayor has demanded that they look at more effective use of brownfield land.We were mentioned as a prime responder and our influence has been positive! This now includes our robust and detailed rejection of house-building on the Grade II Registered Hulton Park to facilitate a Golf Course! This is green belt, is part of our heritage, and would also mean the significant loss of productive farmland.

At the opposite end of the scale, we helped to stop a planning proposal for a densely-populated housing scheme on a green field outside the small village of Coupe Green, near Hoghton. It would have directed traffic down a narrow residential road and the housing-need was demonstrably lacking! The scheme was more for a town than a country village and South Ribble Councillors rejected it! A win for supporting a good community Action Group!

Many of you will know that Lancaster is to have a new ‘Garden Village’ situated south of the City. It is essential that this is well-planned - and that the objections of local residents are taken into account. We have already responded to Lancaster City Council and have expressed the view that restrictions must be applied to protect the AONB. In addition, we will be recommending that this should take the pressure off villages in the Lune Valley, protecting them from speculative development, as well as protecting Green Belt, e.g. at Hest Bank with Slyne.

We are now trying to save a delightful country park in Sefton (just north of Liverpool) – Rimrose Valley – from having a large motorway driven through it which would destroy this green lung which is so important for the people who live in Liverpool. The playing fields and paths for walkers would be obliterated! Moreover, we are making many contributions to Local Plan consultations asking Councils to save the Green Belt and build houses where they are most needed. I am sure, like us, you want to see more affordable houses built instead of large executive-type houses taking over our fields that our young people simply cannot afford to rent, never mind buy.

Over and above this, we work with our National Office aiming to influence Government to give greater protection for the countryside – and our precious farmland. We are hoping that some of our pressure will contribute to forthcoming legislation that may make Councils recalculate properly the number of houses they actually need – not what the developers would like to build!

If you feel you could help us with this work and really want to protect your countryside, we would greatly value whatever help you can give us. Please complete the slip attached below, and, if possible, help with Gift Aid (we can obtain an additional 25p in the £1 on your contribution).

Your help and support to us would be so very much appreciated.

Thank you

Nick Thompson

Chair & Trustee of CPRE Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside


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