Planning minister Bob Neill has today (Sunday 7/8) described opposition to the Government’s proposed planning reforms by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the National Trust as ‘a carefully choreographed smear campaign by Left-wingers based within the national headquarters of pressure groups’.
CPRE believe the minister is in denial about the scale and seriousness of opposition to the Government’s proposed reforms. CPRE is politically impartial, existing solely to protect and improve the countryside. Its national position on the planning proposal has been shaped by its members and branches across the country – often seen as the epitome of ‘Middle England’.
Shaun Spiers, CPRE Chief Executive commented: ‘I think Bob Neill must have been having a bad day. He’d do better to listen to CPRE’s serious concerns about what the Government is proposing rather than indulging in bizarre ‘reds under the bed’ conspiracies.
‘CPRE shares the Government’s aspirations for a more localised and less complex planning system. But it has got its proposals badly wrong. They will not result in economic growth, just more countryside erosion and less say for local communities, in towns and cities as well as in the countryside. Ministers are making a bad mistake in putting economic interests before people or the environment.
‘The Government should think again, particularly about its proposed presumption in favour of development and its proposal to repeal guidance on using brownfield land in preference to developing in open countryside. CPRE is not smearing the Government and I hope that the Government will stop smearing us.’
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Bill Bryson, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen. www.cpre.org.uk
Contact: CPRE press office, 020 7981 2828 or out of hours: 077 3933 2796
CPRE National Office
128 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SW
Tel: 020 7981 2800 Fax: 020 7981 2899
Registered in England No.4302973
CPRE fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Join us at http://www.cpre.org.uk/how-you-can-help/join-or-donate/join-us
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