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CPRE Wiltshire hopeful PM speech 'prelude to brownfield first policy'

By Annabelle Sanderson
8th October 2021

CPRE Wiltshire Chairman Anne Henshaw has welcomed the statement from the Prime Minister to prioritise development on brownfield sites and called on Wiltshire Council to include this strategy in the revision of their Local Plan. 

‘The Prime Minister has indicated that he believes the countryside needs protecting from a developer free-for-all which was the risk with the previous planning proposals.

‘This could be great news for Wiltshire where we are currently dealing with the threat of thousands of homes in Chippenham on beautiful green countryside as well as the expansion of the A350 which will inevitably lead to developments along the route.

‘There is also a risk that greenfield sites around Swindon, including historic rural villages, will be developed.  These including Calne, the golf course development in Bradford on Avon, Malmesbury, Pewsey, Purton, Downton and Royal Wootton Bassett.

‘We have been subjected to a number of applications on greenfield sites outside of towns and village boundaries using the now discredited lack of housing supply.  Why do developers not look to build on the brownfield sites already identified as sustainable locations for the future?

‘It is something Wiltshire Council should be looking to incorporate this welcome approach into the revision of their Local Plan.

‘I hope this speech is a prelude to an official brownfield first policy which must stop green spaces being viewed as ‘development land in waiting’ and instead focus on regeneration and the building of sustainable homes and communities.’

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s conference speech, Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘The Prime Minister could not be more explicit – there is no reason to allow the countryside and local green spaces to be opened up to unscrupulous developers building unaffordable homes. This is a massively encouraging for MPs, CPRE’s local groups and campaigners up and down the country who have fought tooth and nail to protect their local green spaces and to continue to have a say in the planning system.

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