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Norfolk election candidates urged to fight for countryside

David Hook
By David Hook
3rd July 2024

We challenge all Norfolk’s would-be MPs to do more to show they recognise the importance of the county’s countryside – and tell us what they would do to enhance and protect it.

Issues such as flooding, housing, farming and planning are crucial issues in a rural county like Norfolk, but we have not heard enough from General Election candidates about those issues.

We have produced our own manifesto outlining policies and actions that will enhance and protect the countryside, which we have sent to all candidates.

David Hook, CPRE Norfolk Trustee, said: “The important contribution that the countryside makes to our well being, landscape and food supply has hardly been mentioned by the political parties in this General Election campaign.

“Plans for new towns, giant pylons, additional housing in green belts, road building and other new infrastructure will result in a significant loss of countryside.

“It poses a real threat to the landscape, wildlife habitats, rural tranquillity and agriculture in Norfolk, elsewhere in East Anglia and the nation as a whole.”

The CPRE Norfolk manifesto

Our manifesto addresses eight topics –

  • agriculture,
  • housing,
  • planning,
  • renewables,
  • access to the countryside,
  • light pollution and rural tranquillity,
  • flooding
  • transport.

It urges the next government to fix the “broken system” when it comes to housing. Excessively high top-down housing targets and land-banking by developers has contributed to the loss of countryside, while failing to provide genuinely affordable homes.

We want brownfield sites prioritised, for land-banked sites to be built before new ones are earmarked for homes and for empty offices or shops to be turned into a mix of housing, including some for social rent.

We have previously called for a Green Belt around Norwich – and urged candidates to support that campaign.

We also call for the next government to provide more money and practical help to councils, the Environment Agency and landowners to provide natural flood management schemes. This comes in the wake of major flooding in Norfolk in recent years, including in Attleborough and Long Stratton.

Read our Manifesto for the new government

West Runton and Beeston Regis as seen from Incleborough Hill, Norfolk