Don’t close down the countryside, says CLA

24 October 2013

The CLA today (12 October) reiterated its support for the Government's attempt to rebalance sustainable development in its consultation response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

CLA President William Worsley said: "For years, national planning policy has undervalued the countryside and failed to meet the needs of rural areas. It is well documented that the countryside has become part-dormitory, part-theme park and part-retirement home.

"Rural businesses and communities have the same needs for jobs, homes and services that urban areas have, but rural England has suffered from urban-centric policies for decades, leading to a countryside that is less sustainable and less self-sufficient. 

"The CLA strongly supports the rebalancing of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development as set out in the draft NPPF so that each is given equal weight in all planning decisions. What is needed is a clearly-worded planning policy that encourages a living and working countryside. Management of the landscape and biodiversity so cherished by the public will only happen if it is underpinned by a profitable, sustainable and broader rural economy."

Mr Worsley added: "No more than 10 percent of England is currently built on but if the preservationists have their way, the remaining 90 percent of countryside will close down due a lack of inward investment."

Read the CLA full consultation response.