The Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Norfolk) exists to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural Norfolk by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country.
Formed in 1933, CPRE Norfolk is one of the longest established and most respected environmental charities in the county. For over 75 years we have been at the forefront of countryside campaigning and have founded a number initiatives to restore, recognise and enhance the unique features of the Norfolk rural landscape.
- For 75 years, we have been the only independent campaigning organisation to screen planning applications and planning policies in every part of the county for threats to the Norfolk landscape.
- In 1979, we founded one of the longest running environmental award schemes in the county (the CPRE Norfolk Awards scheme) and have given hundreds of Awards to architects, schools, parish councils, community groups and individuals across Norfolk.
- We organised Norfolk’s first conference for planning professionals on light pollution and hosted the launch of the Government’s Select Committee Report into light pollution in 2004.
- We launched the UK’s first ‘open eco-homes’ event in September 2007; opening up some of Norfolk’s most energy-efficient buildings for tours with architects, builders and homeowners.
- In 1977, we co-founded the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust which has saved over 25 historic buildings and monuments in Norfolk to date.
- We founded the Norfolk Town and Village of the Year Competition in 1957 to reward the efforts of rural communities across Norfolk (now the EDP Pride in Norfolk competition).
- We are credited as having a major part to play in saving areas of Norfolk such as Halvergate Marshes and the Glaven Valley, following lengthy campaigns.
- In the 1990s, we were instrumental in setting up the Quiet Lanes scheme throughout Norfolk, working with the Norfolk County Council.
- Following our work on light pollution and our Conference in 2015, successfully persuaded almost all Norfolk parish councils to adhere to CPRE standard work on public lighting to control light pollution and maintain our dark skies.
- CPRE Norfolk Alliance: Started in 2016, CPRE Norfolk launched a campaign against allocating new sites for housing in Local Plans until existing allocated sites had been built out. This was aimed primarily at Parish and Town Councils across the county, but was also opened to other organisations and, following an online petition in 2018, to individuals. The campaign also included hosting meetings in Norwich, Dereham and North Walsham for councillors to discuss issues around housing and Local Plans. By March 2018 over 25% Parish and Town Councils across Norfolk had signed the petition supporting this campaign, with over 33% from the GNLP area of Broadland and South Norfolk.
- Vattenfall’s decision to opt for HVDC rather than HVAC for onshore cabling:With the growth of offshore wind farms there has been much debate about the onshore impacts from cabling and associated works, such as substations and cable-relay stations. In wishing to protect the Norfolk countryside CPRE Norfolk campaigned for the use of HVDC technology for the onshore cable routes, rather than HVAC. HVDC means that no cable-relay stations are needed, while the cable corridor will be less than half the width needed for HVAC. On the negative side, any substations for HVDC will be taller than those needed for HVAC. Vattenfall, the company responsible for the Norfolk Vanguard Project, announced their commitment to HVDC in February 2018. This came earlier than expected, before obtaining a Development Consent Order.
- Produced ‘A Vision for Norfolk’ www.v4n.org.uk proposing common sense solutions to all development quandaries in the county.
- We monitor planning applications throughout Norfolk and where appropriate, comment on them to the relevant local authority.
- Our campaign for a Green Belt around Norwich has resulted in Green Belt options being discussed in the Greater Norwich Development Plan (GNDP) 2018 in their latest site allocations consultation. As a direct result of our discussions with Planning Heads we also saw windfalls included in house allocation numbers in the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) to 2036.
- From 2017 have a regular column in the EDP Norfolk Magazine.