Last week we highlighted the eloquent words of National Trust chairman Sir Simon Jenkins (“Our glorious land in peril”) about his fears for the future of our countryside under the impact of the “presumption in favour of sustainable development” which he describes as “the most philistine concept in planning history”.

This week Sir Andrew Motion, chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England was equally eloquent and we highlight some of what he said below. Once again we make no apology for featuring a plea for the countryside on a website that is concerned with ancient monuments since damage to the one so often involves damage to the other as has often been seen.

(C) The Heritage Journal

.“The English countryside is our great collective masterpiece – and any development that needlessly damages it is an act of vandalism….the Coalition’s controversial changes to the planning system have created an atmosphere where all development is seen as good development…. When even our protected countryside is at risk, what hope is there for our unprotected but equally loved ‘ordinary’ countryside? ….. David Cameron has previously been at pains to emphasise that National Parks and AONBs are safe from the planning reforms, which ripped up hundreds of pages of protections…. However, the CPRE has warned of a surge in the number of applications to build in national parks, AONBs and locally valued landscapes after the relaxation of planning rules. ”