Better places to live

Places to live that are good for people and nature.

The places we live should provide us with access to everything we need for a good quality of life.

What gets built and where

More needs to be done to provide the truly affordable homes we need – particularly in the countryside. But it’s vital that the right kinds of houses are built in the right places, and with the support of the local community.

CPRE research has demonstrated that releasing land from the green belt does not lead to affordable homes. There is an often unrecognised supply of previously developed land, generally in much more sustainable locations, that could be used for desperately needed new housing (and with jobs on hand).

In the countryside, building clusters of large homes with two-car garages does little to support local communities. Smaller homes at rent or low cost, for first-time buyers or the elderly, would answer needs far better, and whatever is built should be well-designed, well-insulated, should blend with the local surroundings and enhance the area it is built in.

Planning

Planning is an area of interest and potential concern we give constant attention to in CPRE Northumberland. We follow all developments in the Local Plans of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, and during each year review up to 300 planning applications we are concerned about, lodging objections to 30 or so which we then keep an eye on until a decision is made.

We are currently looking at ways the planning system can help create better places to live in, with new estates thoughtfully laid out and communal spaces providing facilities for play, shopping and socialising.