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Our approach to planning

We want to see planning decisions that help the countryside thrive, support sustainable, healthy communities, boost nature recovery, and contribute to net zero targets.

In England, decisions on individual planning applications must align with both national and local planning policy. For this reason, involvement in policy making is a priority for both national CPRE and local CPRE groups.

The wider CPRE organisation works to influence central government, while local groups work to influence the development of Local Plans and related local authority strategic policies (such as transport policies).

Though we’re only a small team here at CPRE Cheshire (new volunteers welcome!), we do our best to contribute to all relevant strategic consultations across our area. We also sometimes get involved in consultations on individual planning applications that pose a threat to the countryside, rural communities, or urban green space.

Our approach is best summed up in the Better Planning Coalition’s ‘Six tests for planning’.

Better Planning Coalition’s ‘Six tests for planning’

CPRE is a member of the Better Planning Coalition. The Coalition’s ‘Six tests for planning’ were created as a way of scoring central government’s approach to planning policy. They also form a useful structure for us when giving input into consultations.

  • Local democracy and community engagement: Does the proposed approach involve genuine and accessible community participation and accountability?
  • Affordable housing and developer contributions: Does the application or approach provide for genuinely affordable homes?
  • Climate and sustainable development: Will the development or approach contribute effectively to UK net zero targets and UN sustainability development goals?
  • Biodiversity and nature’s recovery: Are sites important for biodiversity and nature protected, and will there be a fit-for-purpose contribution for nature from the development?
  • Beauty and heritage: Are heritage and designated landscapes safeguarded against inappropriate development?
  • Health and wellbeing and access to natural green space: Does the development or approach embed health, wellbeing and equality and prioritise access to natural green space, active travel, and reducing air pollution?

More information

Six tests for planning – full document

Local Plans in our area and our input to Local Plan consultations