Skip to content

A Greener Alternative : Our Vision for the future

Jill Prior
By Jill Prior
18th April 2022

Over the past 12 months, CPRE Leicestershire has continued working on developing its Vision for the future of Leicestershire’s countryside. Following on from a first initial draft document in 2021, Trustees have now produced a second more streamlined Vision Statement, entitled A Greener Alternative: Our Vision for the Future.

This document sets out our Vision, why we think the ‘Countryside Matters’, six Building Blocks to help to achieve the Vision and six things that we want to see happen to promote a ‘Greener Alternative’ future.

We will be seeking views on it over the next few months before launching the final version in September.

Our Mission

The Vision seeks to ensure that the Leicestershire countryside is not only protected but enhanced for both current and future generations but also plays a part in tackling the two biggest challenges that we face, Climate Change and the degradation of nature. We want to see the countryside valued and enjoyed.

We believe a shift away from ‘business as usual’ approach is required, no longer seeing the countryside as simply empty space for new houses and warehouses but a valuable natural resource.

Countryside that Matters

The Leicestershire countryside is both diverse and beautiful and we think it is ‘something to shout about’.

It is the source of natural resources, natural capital, ‘ecological services’ from which we all benefit as well having the potential to help reduce Climate Change. It is not just empty land to build on.

Building Blocks

To achieve our Vision, we set out six building blocks.

1. Getting Development Right

This is about planning future development that supports the right balance between town and countryside. CPRE wants a more dynamic approach that factors in opportunities for regeneration and proactively works to create sustainable communities. It delivers well designed developments, the ‘Right Housing in the Right Places’ for people, and provides for nature as well as greater weight on the protection of our valuable countryside assets.

2. Creating a Transport System that Serves the Community

Everyone should have access to good public transport and new developments should be directed to those places with it. Investment in enhanced bus, rail, sustainable and active transport should be at the top of the list for transport investment.

3. Ensuring the Countryside is inviting to Visitors
Leicestershire countryside should be more accessible to all people in the county and beyond. The physical and mental wellbeing benefits of access to countryside and green spaces should be promoted and physical access to the countryside improved.

4. Helping Nature to Win
We want to see to see co-ordinated Nature Recovery Plans with wildlife corridors and nature friendly measures in all developments. Protecting and improving our biodiversity should be at the heart of planning and development.

5. Keeping the Countryside Working
It is imperative that the countryside continues to provide employment, remains productive and supports a vibrant rural economy and the needs of rural communities. At the same time we need to protect our highest grade and productive farming land.

6. Answering the Climate Change Challenge
Linked to actions in the other building blocks, the effective management of the implications of Climate Change requires overarching actions to create a green economy, green business sectors, green homes and to reach net-zero carbon emissions. This also involves answering the Climate Change challenge posed by the ever-expanding logistics industry in the county.

All these building blocks need to knit together to deliver our Vision of a greener, cleaner, more beautiful Leicestershire. It presents a different set of priorities to the ‘business as usual’ approach to development that currently underpins planning in Leicester and Leicestershire.

This article provides is a very brief summary of the core elements of the Vision document.

To read the full document see below.

CPRE Vision document draft V2 March 2022

Hungarton village from Bottom Green
Hungarton village from Bottom Green