The Chancellor is expected to announce a new generation of Garden Cities in today’s Autumn Statement.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England said more houses need to built, but use should be made of previously developed land and buildings and not sacrifice open countryside.
Neil Sinden, CPRE’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, said:
“In his Autumn Statement tomorrow we expect the Chancellor George Osborne to confirm that there will be a competition for a new generation of Garden Cities.
“Last week his colleague, the Planning Minister Nick Boles, made provocative and inaccurate comments about the need to develop in open countryside.
“We hope the Chancellor’s announcement demonstrates a more sensible approach that recognises the value of the ‘ordinary’ countryside that makes up 55% of England’s non-built up area, as well as the importance of our designated areas such as National Parks and Green Belt.”
Mr Sinden said brownfield land could provide space for around 1.5 million new homes.
“Not only would this protect the countryside from unnecessary development, but it would also help to inject new life into our towns and cities.”
Mr Osborne is also expected to announce the findings of a review of planning guidance and new cash for road building.
“The review needs to improve guidance on protecting the countryside against unjustified housing schemes and to make sure that new shopping development takes place within rather than outside town centres,” Mr Sinden said.
“And while it is argued that more road building will get both the country and the economy moving it will in reality do neither.
“As well as damaging the countryside, building new road capacity has been shown to generate traffic – so rather than tackling congestion it will simply increase it and shift it around. It is also far less effective in getting money into the economy than investing in sensitive road maintenance and quick wins like new cycle paths.”
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