Sunday, 07 August 2022

Chilterns 'under threat'

Chiltern Society

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THE Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and green belt is under unprecedented threat from development despite assurances by the government, says a conservation charity.

The Chiltern Society was responding to a new White Paper on housing and said the fundamental problems facing the area remained.

Society trustee Paul Mason said: “A tidal wave of tens of thousands of new houses is planned in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire. Some of these are on green belt and encroach the AONB.

“The society is not opposed to the provision of new housing to meet local needs but for everyone’s sake we must protect the special setting and heritage of the Chilterns. Protected countryside must remain protected.

“”The White Paper declares the commitment of the Government to the continuing protection of the green belt but we believe the Government needs to re-examine the way it calculates housing need.

“The current method puts impossible pressures on councils in the Chilterns, forcing them to make short-sighted planning decisions which damage protected countryside and its setting.”

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has already said that MPs and councils need to ensure that the Government’s commitment to the green belt translates into achievable targets and appropriate, well-designed development.

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