Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

Skip to navigation

Director’s Bulletin, Summer 2015

Monday, 05 October 2015 12:23

Visit to 10 Downing Street

Sophie Spencer, CPRE Avonside Director, helps deliver Countryside Charter to 10 Downing Street

Over the last two years CPRE have been running a campaign asking people to sign our Countryside Charter. We gained 80,890 signatories from people all around the country, so many thanks to all of you who helped achieve this record number. The Charter asked the Government for three things:

  • Don’t sacrifice our countryside Our open spaces are being destroyed unnecessarily. Previously developed brownfield sites should be re-used first.
  • A fair say for communities The cards are stacked in favour of developers. We want a democratic planning system that gives local people a stronger voice.
  • More housing – in the right places The country needs affordable homes. They must be sensitively located, with excellent environmental standards and high quality design.

For further information, and to see our letter to the Prime Minister, read more.

CPRE Avonside at the Bristol Festival of Nature

Festival of Nature 2015We had a great weekend at the Festival of Nature collecting the last few signatories for the Countryside Charter, and chatting to many committed people. We feel strongly that CPRE is relevant to those who live in both city and countryside. City dwellers, more than most, need easy access to local countryside that is restorative to the spirit.

We launched our Local Food in the Green Belt Campaign, handing out I love my Green Beltbadges and Save our Green Belt stickers to children. We have produced a new leaflet called Local Food and the Green Belt that we will be sending to all members with the Annual Report later this year, but that you can also download it here. Call Sophie Spencer on 07854741130 if you would like copies to hand out.

AGM Season

Save our Green BeltIt’s the season for Annual General Meetings, and a good opportunity to find out what we’re doing in your branch and district groups. In line with our Local Foods in the Green Belt Campaign, many of our AGMs this year feature a local foods theme. We’re so lucky to have an amazing range of farms and food producers in this area to call upon.

Bath and North East Somerset District Group’s AGM, in June, featured interesting presentations from two local producers, Bath Harvest Oils and Langford Farm Organic.

North Somerset District Group AGM will be the evening of August 25th and will feature a visit to Lye Cross Farm, who producing award winning cheese.Starting at 6pm in Wrington Memorial Hall for the formalities then on to Lye Cross Farm Redhill at 7pm for cheese production visit.

South Gloucestershire District Group will be visiting a local private garden,‘Camers’ at Old Sodbury, at 2pm on Thursday 27th August. There is an Elizabethan farmhouse (not open) set in 4 acres of garden and woodland with spectacular views over the Severn Vale. It is a garden full of surprises with a wide range of species, topiary, Japanese garden, bog and prairie areas, waterfalls and woodland walks. Advance booking required for this event.

Avonside Branch AGM will be held in Bristol in October and we hope to engage a speaker on a similar theme. More details to follow!

We hope to see you at one of these events. Please emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to book or for more info.

Still awaiting final decision on North Somerset Core Strategy

North Somerset Core StrategyThis remains the only Core Strategy (or Local Plan) in the Avonside area that is incomplete. North Somerset District Council, unusually, asked the Government to intervene after their housing numbers were re-examined in January 2015, with the inspector recommending a significant increase. CPRE Avonside spoke at that hearing and were the only group representing the interests of local communities and the environment. The re-examination was the result of a successful legal challenge from the University of Bristol, who want to build on Green Belt land outside Long Ashton.

We expect a final decision from the Government imminently. In the meantime, North Somerset is seeing a large number of speculative planning applications for ‘off-plan’ development. CPRE believes in building more houses, but these applications are generally opportunist developments which are not in sustainable locations nor at affordable prices, and do not meet the needs of local people. Instead, they will sacrifice beautiful countryside that people love. For more information read here.

Litter Warden Scheme

We will be starting to recruit volunteers for our litter warden scheme this summer. We have received funding fromBristol Green Capital 2015 to set up a Litter Warden Scheme in Bristol. We aim to have 14 litter wardens, one in each of Bristol’s Neighborhoods, who will be given a litter picking kit, plus an honorarium payment of £100 Bristol pounds. Thank you to all those I have spoken to already on this issue. If you are interested in being involved, or know someone who might, please contact Sophie Spencer atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Grants for Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood plansThese are a great way for local communities to set out detailed priorities for their community, such as low-cost housing or protection of green space. They are optional documents, but where prepared, should carry significant weight in planning decisions locally. Neighbourhood plans can help communities have a clear understanding of the character of their area, including identifying those parts of it that the community most cherishes. See CPRE’s website for more information.

Grants are available to help Parish Councils and other groups prepare Neighbourhood Plans. All groups writing a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order will be eligible to apply for up to £8,000. More information

Getting houses built: new CPRE Report

Getting houses builtThere are few who can argue that we don’t need to build more houses, it is how and where that is more contentious. The standard solution to this problem, as told by the big house builders, is to release more land (in the countryside) and increase housing numbers.CPRE’s new report,Getting Houses Built, pretty well confirms CPRE’s view, backed up by plenty of hard evidence, that questions of land availability or housing targets are far less crucial that the question of who is going to build the houses. For more information I highly recommend you read CPRE Chief Executive, Shaun Spiers, excellent blog.

Give Peace a Chance

Give peace a chanceTranquillity is a natural resource, and an essential quality of the countryside. It central to why the countryside matters so deeply to so many people, and the reason that they want and need to spend time there. CPRE have produced a report, Give Peace a Chance, which calls on the new Government to take action to value and protect the character of the countryside, which gives people beautiful and tranquil places to enjoy and enriches their lives. We need to make the tranquillity policy that is already in national planning policy more effective. To do that we need improved guidance and an up-to-date evidence base to support tranquillity policy at local and national level. We want local authorities to identify and protect areas of tranquillity, as they are required to do in planning policy, and to help, our website now has an interactive tranquillity map of England.

join us

Back to top

woodland glade