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Director’s Bulletin, Summer 2016

Friday, 10 June 2016 09:52

A summary of recent activity and forthcoming events from CPRE Avonside

Villages and towns ‘under siege’: Communities fight back!

Many of our local towns and villages are facing the prospect of hundreds of new houses on their doorsteps, and local planning authorities seem powerless to prevent them. Local communities feel that their voices aren’t being heard in important decisions being made about the countryside they treasure. Proposed changes to planning policy could make this situation even worse.

Free event: Villages and towns ‘under siege’

Find out what’s happening nationally and locally – CPRE National Chief Executive, Shaun Spiers will put us ‘in the picture’ on planning! If you live anywhere in the area of Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset this will impact you. All welcome.
Tuesday 5th July 7.30 – 9.30 at Flax Bourton Village Hall, Old Weston Road, Flax Bourton, Bristol BS48 1UR www.flaxbourtonvillagehall.com
Book your place on eventbrite or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Sophie Spencer on 07854741130

CPRE Avonside Director, Sophie Spencer, was interviewed recently on Made in Bristol TV about the housing crisis, and developer calls to open up Green Belt land to development. This short piece is available on catch up (29th April) at www.madeinbristol.tv CPRE Avonside believes that the current pressure to weaken our planning system will likely result in less truly affordable housing, not more, in unsustainable locations. At the same time, it will destroy countryside that is highly valued by local people. Developers are less likely to build affordable housing on brownfield sites in cities, if they know they can get planning permission for large market housing on more profitable greenfield sites.

What do we want?

CPRE is campaigning to protect our beautiful countryside, to retain affordable housing for those on lower incomes, for a neighbourhood right of appeal, and for priority for brownfield sites. We want:

  • Housebuilding targets based on realistic assessment of what developers and local authority are likely to deliver.
  • Developers to work with local planning authorities to bring forward suitable brownfield sites.
  • Developers to build out sites – within an agreed timescale once they get planning permission, or face financial penalties.

Read more ›

Having our say

An important part of our work is to comment, as an organisation independent of Government, on various local planning applications, local planning policies, and now, sub regional planning policies. We recently commented on consultations for a Joint Structure Plan, and Joint Transport Plan for the West of England (the old Avon area). To help with our responses we held a Planning Workshop for local CPRE volunteers and parish councils, so we could gather views from all of our local districts.

At the same time we had the opportunity to comment on a national consultation on changes to the National Planning Framework (NPPF), the Government’s new planning guidance, introduced in 2012. Needless to say, we had detailed comments on the workings of the NPPF, and the impact of the changes that are being proposed by the Government. To download our response, please email Sophie Spencer atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For a more detailed overview of our views on changes to national planning policy, please see previous article Towns and Villages Under Siege

Take Action

We are asking people to write to their MP to let them know their concern regarding the impacts of changes to the planning system. All the details are available on our national website, and 7,835 have written so far. This kind of action does have a real impact on the awareness of local MPs of the feelings of their local communities. Visit our national website for all the information you need.

Last month, the Director, Chair and Vice Chair of CPRE Avonside met with Kerry McCarthy who is MP of Bristol East, and the Shadow Environment Secretary. We talked about many local and national issues, including loss of local greenfield and Green Belt land, affordable housing, and local food from the Green Belt. We asked her to support our campaign for a Community Right of Appeal.

We need your help. If you and your friends are not already CPRE members, please join us and support our work to protect our countryside.

Last chance to sign up as a Community Litter Warden

We are on the brink of signing up a number of new voluntary Community Litter Wardens for the Bristol area – thank you to all those who have shown an interest, your litter kits will be with you soon.  We have worked with Bristol City Council to recruit Wardens, and a number of volunteers have come forward from different areas of Bristol.

A Community Litter Warden is a voluntary post, and we will provide each warden with an honorarium of £100 Bristol pounds, plus a litter picking kit (and extra kits for Community Litter Picks). This project is being funded by Bristol Green Capital 2015. If you are, or know of someone who is interested, please email Sophie Spencer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. asap.

Meet us at the Bristol Festival of Nature

We will have a stand at the Bristol Festival of Nature this weekend of the 11th and 12th June, in the Green Forum, where we will be taking all things CPRE. We’d love to see you there. There will be a chance to win a copy of CPRE’s new book ’22 Ways to Save the Countryside’, written by Oliver Hilliam and Peter Waine.

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