Life in our cities, towns and villages

Urban regeneration
Thanks to urban regeneration, three quarters of the new homes created by 2026 will be contained within urban areas on existing brownfield land with the remainder taking up some of our countryside.

The Green Belt will come under increasing pressure from new development but its principle of protecting the countryside from urban sprawl will remain intact.

Greener towns and cities
Our towns and cities will also become greener places to live and work with rooftop gardens, parks, nature reserves, woodlands and more green spaces. New housing will be close to places for work, schools, shops and other services minimising car travel and maximising public transport. Road tolls and more people working from home will also reduce traffic.

Will Green Belts survive? Give us your views below.

Thriving small towns and villages

Smaller towns and villages will grow as a result of the revival in locally produced food and the interest in the countryside for leisure. This will also help to create more local jobs.

With less traffic, the countryside will be a quieter place for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. The substantial growth in the rural population will allow small towns and villages to thrive after decades of decline.

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19 responses

  1. wendy kellett

    This all sounds too good to be true;how will it all happen?
    I shall come clean and say that I am also a member of the OPT,(which,by the way,is not an unpleasant organisation).
    We are facing unprecedented population growth in this already overcrowded country;the government wants to build 3 million more homes and 5 ecotowns and build a 3rd runway at Heathrow and relax many planning controls.
    This doesn’t bode well for a ‘greener’ future,to my mind.
    I think there still persists the notion that we can ‘have it all’.
    Economic and population growth and a blissfully green future:it doesn’t add up.

    5 December, 2007 at 6:30 pm

  2. David Way

    Sadly,very sadly, we have to face the fact that the tabloid press
    is determined to turn the country into a concrete jungle and no government will stand up to them. We have to ask not how many roads and houses do we want but how many can be accommodated. Before new towns and cities look at rebuilding those that are in sad decline. Then fresh life is needed at almost evry so called holiday resort. Many people do not like trees and green fields but we really should keep enough to produce our own food

    7 December, 2007 at 1:15 pm

  3. Gordon Pye

    It sounds as though CPRE is planning to turn the countryside into some sort of ” green ” theme park with no place for the indigenous population unless they are willing to become wage slaves. However, CPRE does exhibit eco-fascist tendencies and with it the virtual ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population. CPRE is yet another lobby group with no interests in anybody except the rich people who do most of the polluting in the countryside at present.

    18 December, 2007 at 8:58 pm

  4. Peter Marett

    By 2026 we not only need to be buying more locally produced food (see food and farming blog), many will be keen to grow it themselves in back gardens, allotments and community “farms”. With the growing awareness of the nutritional importance of fresh fruit and vegetables to our diet, the recognition of the physical and emotional health benefits of gardening activity and even the economic benefits of family food production as fuel shortages make industrially produced food more expensive, the current interest in organic gardening will increase. And an ageing population will have time for gardening, be it therapeutic or economically important.

    The problem is, with the laudable emphasis on high density urban housing development on brownfield sites in order to reduce development pressure on the countryside, where is the urban population going to have the space for gardening?
    The current trend to build on large gardens and allotment sites is short-sighted. The villages, towns and cities of 2026 will need green spaces for food production and wildlife. If we must have high density housing with tiny backyards, then leave space for community gardens and allotments that link into parks and reserves so that those with a desire to “grow their own” will be able to do so in areas that also serve as wildlife corridors through our towns and cities.

    1 January, 2008 at 11:10 am

  5. haddynuf

    I remain completely sceptical about all these wondrous, utopian ideas about cities and towns with green spaces, parks and rooftop gardens. The sad fact is that we have developers, aided and supported by government ministers and looser planning laws, who will pressurise unendingly to build on every available square inch. These urban parks and gardens, nice though they sound, would eventually be built on themselves, because they would still be perceived as prime profit opportunities for private developers.
    As for needing “new life” in our “declining” villages, I fail to understand what it is that’s in decline. From where I stand, my local villages and little towns are all small, full of character and thriving quite nicely thank you, without the addition of Lego-Land housing estates. People live in villages because they are (mainly) visually unspoilt, compact and pleasant places. Why change them? We don’t all want to live in sprawling suburbia.
    2026 is more likely to see our countryside, and Green Belt, overburdened with tacky, rushed-up poor-quality houses, retail parks, runways, even more cars and spreading industrial estates. Present government has no interest in preserving Green Belt.
    CPRE vision is commendable but it will take a people’s uprising to achieve it.

    8 January, 2008 at 2:06 pm

  6. Wardy

    Our local villages are suffering as the post office cum shops are being closed. We’ve lost about 7 in our immediate area in the past few weeks! Yet new houses are being built on green land within these villages. In one of our local villages, they’ve lost the one and only shop/post office and the pub! They’ve built some new 5 bedroomed exec homes on farmland and no-one is buying them

    We are expecting an answer any day from the Sec of State over the future of our allotment site, which the council wants to sell, as it stands in the way of a huge swathe of agricultural land they want to build yet more houses on. There are no more local jobs being created so we fear we’ll become just a commuter town.

    We have had the support of CPRE who have sent a very detailed letter to the Sec of State, and we hope with their help we can stave off disposal.

    19 February, 2008 at 4:45 pm

  7. John Broadhurst

    What a wonderful vision – but no mention of the fact thet the population is expected to grow to 75 million, mainly from immigration, and that this is what is driving the massive drive to build more and more houses (and schools, roads, community centres, and all the other extras).
    Population control is the key to preserving Rural England. We (the CPRE) should be campaigning actively against further immigration and population growth. PC atitudes will rob us of our green and pleasant land. Grasp the nettle NOW – or shall keep feeling warm and woolly whilst making sure our own cabin on the Titanic is redecorated in the right way.

    4 March, 2008 at 10:59 am

  8. Floss

    I live in a rural community overlooking the Bristol Channel. As a Supply teacher, visiting schools within a 20 mile radius and part time worker in a garden centre 7 miles away I have to use my car. There is no public transport to get me to work and I always travel alone. There will NEVER be an adequate alternative. The car manufacturers must do their bit. Why are we so reluctant/slow to find energy saving/alternative fuels? JUST GET ON WITH IT!!
    As for visiting our beautiful rural environments:-
    where do cars park?
    where do peole eat?
    where do they go to the toilet?
    where are the dog poo bins?
    At least the locals usually walk to the coastal path, woods, footpaths, church and shop!

    5 March, 2008 at 6:10 pm

  9. I marvel at the charming naivete of this vision and wonder whether anyone who wrote it knows what the ‘countryside’ looks like. In particular, the reference to building on brownfield sites fascinated me. Are you utterly unaware that gardens are brownfield sites? Were you aware that in my area of the country, developers have bought up houses with gardens, knocked the houses down and built flats on the sites, and that the local council is rewarded for this vandalism because it counts as a brownfield site? There is no requirement to provide parking, for example, so people park on the roads, making them congested and dangerous to cross.

    Oh yes, and the government already has plans in progress to concrete over the ‘green belt’.

    6 March, 2008 at 9:20 am

  10. Tim Baker

    It is distressing to see yet more calls for a population policy, how will you select the first person to be culled or prohibited entry, the colour of their eyes, the colour of their skin, their religion, disability? Sound familiar? Try 70 years ago Germany.

    6 March, 2008 at 9:22 am

  11. Roger B

    Mass immigration is without doubt the biggest danger the countryside faces. City life is becoming more and more unappealing to British people, and they want to move out to the country. Who can blame them?

    Let’s face it – we’re a small country, and the numbers coming in are unsupportable. There’s no room for the people we already have, let alone more.

    (Ignore the rather hysterical shrieks from the Left that will come in response to calls for immigration control by the way – their “Brave New World” can only be built after our way of life is destroyed, and they certainly don’t care about Britain, let alone our beautiful countryside!)

    6 March, 2008 at 11:09 am

  12. Paul Kemp

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to add my voice to the “distressing” call for a population policy. We are one of the most densely populated pieces of land on Earth. Mass immigration has, and will, continue to make matters worse. It’s already becoming evident that the birth rate is beginning to rise and largely amongst immigrants.
    I am no racist; I have friends who are black, Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Pagan. In answer to the above, I won’t make any distinctions based on “skin colour” or “religion” and I very much believe that Britain, along with every country on Earth should adopt a family size limitation policy like China.
    75 million people in Britain is ludicrous: 60 million is bad enough. 6 Billion and rising globally is an ecological disaster just waiting to happen.
    The ONLY way to tackle the problem of habitat loss, resource depletion, species extinction, pollution and human enduced climate change is to pursue global population reduction polices alongside radical lifestyle changes in the profligate West and rigorous regulation of industrialization in the emerging economies.
    The sooner we overcome our horror of discussing population control the sooner mnay of the issues we’re raising here can be effectively addressed.

    7 March, 2008 at 10:12 am

  13. Paul Kemp

    Me again! On the issue of towns and cities in particular, I believe we need to urbanise much more thoroughly to take pressure off rural areas. The fabric of cities must become very much denser through better utilisation of urban land. It’s inexcusable that there is wasteland in modern cities; we cannot afford to have wasteland in an urban context.
    And on the subject of gardens, I think it is entirely appropriate that large urban gardens become a thing of the past, but that development of these is undertaken with proper provision of infrastructure and careful planning.
    At the same time there should be more provision of shared urban open space to encourage greater social contact and cohesion. I am also excited by the prospect of multi-storey
    urban farms which are already feasible.

    7 March, 2008 at 10:24 am

  14. Richard Wilson

    The population pressure in the SE results mainly from UK and international economic immigration. The solution includes governments properly valuing green assets and moving economies towards a fair distribution of sustainable wealth as opposed to supporting greed-fuelled concentrations of capital. We need HPI not GDP thinking with actions to boot.

    http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index

    8 March, 2008 at 11:30 am

  15. Bryn

    Headline in the local newspaper : Can Bradford and district
    support 50k new homes?
    I live in a village and the Government says it has drawn building boundaries around villages to prevent them from being joined together. Does anyone know anything about such boundaries? The local planners know nothing they say. Does anyone? They seem to be a logical step to take when talking of all these new homes. Any expert views would be welcome.
    18.03.08

    18 March, 2008 at 7:21 pm

  16. Jean Johnson

    I am surprised that nobody seems concerned about the effect on the environment of building over 5 million new homes. These will need the quarrying of clay for bricks,of aggregate for roads and of limestone for cement.Then there will be wood needed for roofs etc,supply routes for utilities and on and on. Finally there will be all the traffic to transport these materials to the building sites.
    Iam also concerned for the millions of people whose homes will be compulsorily purchased and demolished (with minimum compensation)
    to make way for the new housing.

    27 April, 2008 at 6:59 pm

  17. John Broadhurst

    Tom Baker
    I am sorry you are distressed. You don’t think perhaps that part of the problem in Germany was mass immigration from Eastern Europe and the fears this generated? In answer to your question I would keep out those who do not / will not fit in, but want to build a replica of the lands they left. Grow up – we gave the Empire self goverment decades ago – if they have made a mess of this theyshould solve their own problems, not dump their surplus population on us. The loud cries that we need immigration are offensove to a people who have managed on their own for centuries

    2 May, 2008 at 9:13 am

  18. John Broadhurst

    On a general note, has anybody noticed that WE the members have no opportunity to have a say in policy. Just an apparently unelected administration. Blogs like this are merely an attempt to look democratic. I have no complaint about the personnel who run CPRE, but they should open up ALL policy decisions to the membership (Online, for those of us who also have a peoper job). What do you all think?

    (Note from CPRE: CPRE branches and regional groups have been invited to hold seminars or conferences to discuss the developing 2026 Vision in detail – please contact your branch or see here for more details. The recommendations made at these meetings will be fed directly to our Trustee Board, who will make the final decision on what is said in our 2026 Vision. In this way, we hope to ensure that members’ views are heard. At the same time, we hope that this blog can provide a forum for online discussion for everyone, and that we can learn from the suggestions and comments made here.)

    2 May, 2008 at 11:44 am

  19. there will be no country side 😦

    3 September, 2008 at 4:15 am

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