Ox, Bucks and NHants at risk of Urban Sprawl – Bicester A & R #NPPF

Bicester Advertiser and Review

MORE than 80 per cent of countryside in parts of the Advertiser and Review region could be at risk from urban sprawl, a new report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) claims.

Campaigners say a new national planning document, the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), does not contain any clause recognising the value of common ‘undesignated’ countryside.

The CPRE says 51 per cent of Bucks, 52 per cent of Oxon, and 85 per cent of Northants would be at increased risk of unsuitable development if the new policy is adopted.

Fiona Howie, head of planning at CPRE, said: “We are pleased that the Government’s planning reforms will retain protections for specially-designated countryside.”

But ministers have provided no reassurance the final NPPF will recognise the value of the wider, undesignated countryside that makes up more than half of England’s rural landscape.

“We are not seeking a national policy that would prevent all development. But if we are to avoid damaging the character of rural areas by making it easier for inappropriate, speculative building to take place – a bungalow here, a distribution shed there.

“Decision makers must be encouraged to take account of the intrinsic value of the wider countryside when considering development proposals.”

John Bercow’s Buckingham constituency and David Cameron’s seat in Witney are among the constituencies deemed most at risk.