Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Report on the 20:26 Vision meeting on 13 May

Monday, 02 June 2008 13:40

It was good to see those who came to the meeting on the 13th May in Bath. We had a good turnout and two excellent presentations from Paul Miner from CPRE Head Office and Jim Claydon from the Royal Town Planning Institute. The question and comment session was chaired by Hugh Delap who is the Chairman of Freshford Parish Council.

Paul took us through many of the key points currently being considered - including the way that tranquillity has been eroded in our area; thoughts around the future of food, farming and forestry; the built environment; planning and local democracy; lifestyle, values and attitudes; climate change and the countryside.

Jim then noted that there were many point of agreement between the RTPI stance and that of CPRE, but, not surprisingly, the difference came with Green Belt. RTPI were in favour of green wedges into our cities and the erosion of some of the existing green belt. The point was made by several of the audience, that if this was allowed then the risk of further diminution of the green belt was very high. Once the barrier had been lifted then there was a very big risk that the discipline for protecting our countryside would be lost. Green Belt had been successful and should remain as a planning discipline.

There was further discussion on the role of farming in managing our countryside and there was appeared to be consensus around farming's importance, for food security and also to ensure that our countryside is attractive as a place for recreation for all.

Everyone is encouraged to contribute further to the debate at www.cpre.org.uk/debates. We will be forwarding the comments and questions raised at the session to Head Office and the County Branches Forum.

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