Presenters from the BBC’s Countryfile climbed into a sixteen foot “haystack” at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, to launch the first ever Countryfile Live, which is set to bring the best of the Great British countryside to the stunning stately home and grounds from 4th-7th August 2016.
Further to the relaxation of planning protections for the green belt proposed yesterday by the government, the National Trust said:
“We are concerned and will be looking closely at the implications of what is being proposed.
“Green Belt prevents urban sprawl, keeping town and villages distinct and special, which is why we think it is important to maintain the protections it offers.
“We don’t have urban sprawl in England in the same way that other countries do because of our history of development planning, and the designation of Green Belts in particular, and we weaken that enduring protection at our peril.
“As a nation we need more houses and many of these can be built in cities. We should be aiming for sustainable growth, where we make the best use of available brownfield sites. Any release of undeveloped land for housing should be considered carefully, as a community prepares its local plan.”
A spokesperson from the National Trust said:
“There is a need for more new housing, and when it works well, our planning system can ensure this goes in the most appropriate locations, and that we build places people want to live in.
“This new research is concerning, because it suggests that inflexible targets mean that in some areas the local vision for development is being bypassed, with the best sites going undeveloped, whilst less suitable sites are approved. This is a problem we also identified in our 2014 report, Positive Planning. Government should ensure that local authorities are not penalised for setting ambitious targets for new housing, and keep its housing supply rules under review to ensure the Local Plan is sovereign.”
Sixty-two products were bestowed with one of the food and farming industry’s highest honours, a National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award, at a ceremony in London last night.
It was the first time – and fitting for the 10th anniversary – that so many products met or exceeded the strict judging criteria of the conservation charity’s food and farming awards.
Three producers excelled to be crowned overall food and overall drinks winner and a special award, for producer of the decade, was announced. Continue reading