Fears for borough countryside areas

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LARGE areas of Doncaster’s countryside could be at increased risk from development as a consequence of the Government’s reforms of the planning system, say rural campaigners.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has just launched a report with detailed new maps showing that 55 per cent of England - an area equating to almost three-and-a-half times the size of Wales - would be affected by the draft framework.

Most of Doncaster borough, east of a line running from Bawtry to Askern, is deemed by CPRE South Yorkshire to be at risk.

“The Doncaster map clearly illustrates how 42 per cent of land in the borough will be unprotected if the National Planning Policy Framework goes ahead as it is,” said planning officer John King.

“The east of Doncaster is still not protected by green belt.

If the NPPF goes ahead unchanged then areas that are valued by local communities will be at even greater risk from speculative building and development.

“We want to see the Government recognising its value. We don’t want a national policy that prevents all development, but we do want decision makers to take account of the intrinsic value of our countryside for its own sake when they are considering development proposals.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We are determined to deliver a simpler planning system which makes absolutely clear the Government’s intention to provide the homes and jobs that the next generation needs while protecting our priceless countryside, safeguarding the Green Belt and introducing new protection for local green spaces.

“The planning system has always enshrined the principle that the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development should be considered in a balanced way - and it will continue to do so. The framework also aims to strengthen local decision making and reinforce the importance of local plans.”