Build Back Better, or Build, Build, Build?

Callum McGregor from CPRE Writes

What with the recent announcement from the government regarding their desire to make the planning process less complicated, we thought we’d republish what Callum McGregor from CPRE has written on the subject. He writes, as follows…


Image of brick-laying being undertaken

Connecting with nature was a lifeline for many of us during the hardest months of the pandemic. Nature and the countryside cared for us during lockdown; now we need to make sure that we care for it in return.   That’s why, we have just launched our Regeneration Manifesto – our plan to regenerate the countryside, green spaces and ourselves as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis.

Right now, the government is making key decisions about how it’ll support our economic recovery. We’re calling for the countryside to be at the heart of that recovery.

Recently, instead of focusing on a green recovery, the prime minister pledged to cut planning ‘red tape’ and “build, build, build“, and appeared to blame environmental protections for slowing down development. But we know that deregulating planning simply won’t deliver the better quality places and affordable homes that are needed – it’s already far too easy to build poor quality homes, in the wrong places.  Handing more power to developers is the exact opposite of what we need.

We’ve already been in the newspapers opposing these plans, and we’ll be doing more in the coming weeks to make sure the countryside isn’t sacrificed in the rush to get the economy moving.


What This Means to Us

As if we didn’t have enough to cope with here on Wirral with the Local Plan! So, it looks like the battle-lines may have been drawn for environmental groups who will seek to protect what potentially, poorly-written, rushed-through new planning legislation may deliver.

We suspect goal posts will be moved to suit and open up what’s left of our green spaces to the bulldozer. Hopefully, the public will try to pressure government to regenerate and ‘re-green’ urban spaces, rather than savage what already exists of the ‘green lungs’ humans, animals and plant-life all benefit from.