• Ottery St Mary Rural ward at risk from new Govt planning laws

    6th February 2012 | News | Claire
  • Over half (55 per cent) of England’s countryside could be at increased risk as a consequence of the Government’s reforms of the planning system.

    Two thirds of East Devon is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which ministers claim will be unaffected by the new laws.  What they don’t admit however, is that protection for AONBs is being weakened

    All of the countryside in the ward that I represent- Ottery St Mary Rural – which includes West Hill, Aylesbeare, Tipton St John, Alfington, Fenny Bridges and Fairmile – is at risk from the aggressively pro-development NPPF.  (A small corner of Tipton St John is covered by an AONB designation).

    The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – due to be finalised shortly – fails to recognise the intrinsic value of the countryside outside of National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belts. This equates to an area almost three-and-a-half times the size of Wales now threatened by inappropriate development and urban sprawl.

    This unprotected countryside not only includes some of England’s most attractive landscapes – but also provides healthy local food, habitats for wildlife, and tranquillity and open space for wellbeing and enjoyment. Furthermore, it helps mitigate the impact of climate change by absorbing floodwater and storing carbon.

    CPRE wants the Government to show it values the countryside as a whole by amending the draft NPPF to include recognition of the importance of the wider, undesignated countryside.

    The CPRE report can be downloaded here http://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-do/countryside/landscapes/update/item/2724-protecting-the-wider-countryside

    It is not too late to write to our MP, Hugo Swire.  If you haven’t already, please email him:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)