Government's growth drive means England's most treasured landscapes can be 'vandalised' by developers
Some of England’s most beautiful countryside, including its 10 national parks, faces the threat of “vandalism” by developers taking advantage of the Government’s drive for economic growth, the Campaign to Protect Rural England will warn today.
Its president, the former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, accuses ministers of creating an atmosphere under which all development is seen as beneficial – even when it intrudes on treasured landscapes. In a new report the CPRE says areas in greatest peril include the Mendip Hills in Somerset, the South Downs in Kent, the Shropshire Hills, the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District and the Peak District.
Sir Andrew writes: “The English countryside is our great collective masterpiece – and any development that needlessly damages it is an act of vandalism. CPRE is observing a growing number of cases where this type of defacement is happening. Alarmingly, threats are even extending into some of our most beautiful landscapes such as our national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty and into locally valued landscapes.”
He says: “I want to make it clear I do not think our politicians are deliberately setting out to degrade and destroy our landscapes. However, they have created an atmosphere where all development is seen as good development. When even our protected countryside is at risk, what hope is there for our unprotected but equally loved ‘ordinary’ countryside?”
The CPRE condemns the number of wind farms surrounding the Lake District national park, as well as on the North Downs in Hampshire and the Shropshire Hills, each of which is designated an area of natural beauty (AONB). It raises fears over applications for large-scale “solar farms” in AONBs in Dorset, Suffolk and East Sussex, for an open-cast coal mine in the North Pennines and for a waste incinerator on the edge of the Cotswolds.
The group attacks plans to build 521 houses in the Kent Downs AONB near Dover, 650 properties in the High Weald AONB in Kent and East Sussex, and 350 homes near Dawlish on the Devon coast. It warns that the historic Wiltshire market town of Malmesbury, famed for its 17th-century abbey, is “threatened by cumulative development applications”.
Major road-building schemes threaten to increase congestion while “devastating wide areas of countryside”. The CPRE blames the Government’s drive for growth for fuelling the large numbers of planning applications in protected areas such as national parks, and criticises the Planning Minister, Nick Boles, for suggesting they are in danger of becoming “museum pieces”.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the report was misleading. “Strong planning protections remain in place for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which are some of this country’s most important national treasures,” he said.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...