COUNTRYSIDE campaigners CPRE have raised major concerns over radical plans to change the planning system.

As reported in the Chronicle, the Government is consulting on the largest overhaul of the planning system in 70 years. Nationally and locally in Hampshire, CPRE has convened a coalition of over 40 housing, planning and environmental organisations in opposition to the White Paper.

CPRE has a long history of engaging with planning policy since the organisation was founded in 1926 and its vision is for the countryside and green spaces to be accessible to all, rich in nature and to play a crucial role in responding to the climate emergency. A healthy and democratic planning system is crucial to delivering that vision, but It believes these damaging changes threaten the ability to shape the future of where we live.

Carole Oldham, CPRE Hampshire trustee and chairman of its planning and policy group, said: “The major concerns we have with the Government’s Planning for the Future White Paper include loss of local democracy, housing affordability and access to green space.

“The Government has put forward a series of proposals to address what they see as an outdated and ineffective planning system. Whilst there are some aspects we believe are promising, and the planning system is without doubt in need of improvement, we do not accept the fundamental premise that it is the cause of an affordability issue in housing.”

CPRE Hampshire is finalising its detailed response to the consultation which closes on October 29. The charity has produced a summary for its members and the public to help with their own responses and has shared this with all town and parish councils in Hampshire.

PRE Hampshire highlights a series of concerns with the proposals, including:

• Significant and worrying loss of local democracy;

• Impact on development of affordable housing;

• The aim to streamline and speed up the planning process by zoning ALL land into one of three categories;

• Failure to address the issue of the gap between permissions and completions, the Build Out rate;

• Mandatory top down housing targets;

• Impact on Neighbourhood Plans;

• Very limited acknowledgement to the climate change emergency;

• Dangerous proposals to introduce new settlements under Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) proposals;

• Proposals to introduce huge amount of new digital technology into the planning system;

• The introduction of National Development Management Policies and Design Codes;

• Proposal to abolish Sustainability Appraisals;

• Replacement of the Community Infrastructure Levy and the current system of planning obligations with a nationally set value-based flat rate charge.

CPRE Hampshire is urging the public to write to their MP, adding your views to the consultation (

and signing CPRE’s petition (

The petition to stop the government deregulate planning has to date attracted almost 40,000 signatures.

CPRE Hampshire wrote to all Hampshire MPs last month about the proposed planning reforms and has met with several local MPs and plans to meet with more over the coming weeks, to ensure they understand the unintended consequences of the proposals.

CPRE Hampshire responded to the Government’s first consultation, Changes to the Current Planning System in September, and you can find a summary and full response on the charity’s website.

To help CPRE Hampshire campaign for a planning system that empowers local communities and helps make sustainable, liveable places, join as a member or sign up for our free newsletter: visit