Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Leicestershire Plan threatens Countryside

Sunday, 21 January 2018 16:19

CPRE Leicestershire is urging residents and organisations across Leicestershire to respond to the consultation on the Strategic Growth Plan which could change the character of parts of Leicestershire for generations to come.



“It is vital that people have their say now, especially as there is no Public Inquiry proposed for the Plan”, said Richard Windley, Chair of CPRE Leicestershire.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, he said: “In its current form, we think the Plan fails to solve the real housing or transport problems. Although it is presented as a grand plan it does little to encourage urban regeneration and local public transport investment. We think there are ingrained problems and issues which need much more investigation. That’s why we will be scrutinizing the thinking behind the plan. We urge others to do the same.”

CPRE is particularly concerned about the extensive use of greenfield sites, many in attractive countryside in areas round Leicester. They say that the Plan fails to prioritise brownfield housing opportunities in Leicester itself and in neighbouring urban areas.

They want the Plan to prioritise the housing needed by those struggling to get a home.  They say an emphasis on small scale rural affordable housing schemes could provide the right kind of homes for local people in small villages.

They also say the transport policies put far too much emphasis on major new roads which would be hugely expensive, destroy valued countryside and increase pollution, creating additional congestion while failing to deliver long term economic benefit. They say, the money would be better used on projects that have far-reaching public benefits, such as electrifying the Midland Main Line or innovative public transport schemes.

Overall they are concerned that the Plan promotes a narrow development strategy and neglects to consider the impact of what is proposed. They warn that the impacts on Leicestershire countryside and landscapes, future levels of pollution, environmental and natural costs, and climate change issues are not being addressed.

CPRE concludes that, as currently proposed, the Plan is too narrowly based to act as an appropriate strategic framework to guide future planning in Leicestershire.

 Author: Caroline Pick

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