Urban growth and developments will swallow up English countryside by end of century
Urban growth and the development of roads and airports will swallow up what’s left of the undisturbed English countryside by the end of the century, campaigners have warned.
Half the land in England is already affected by urban intrusion – housing estates, retail and business parks, roads, industrial developments – and, according to maps published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, if development continues at the current rate, an area the size of Greater London will be affected every two years.
The South East is the worst-hit region, with 70% affected, and the remaining 30% likely to vanish in the next 45 years.
The maps also show the effect of development beyond its immediate footprint. Buildings on greenfield sites cause noise and light in the surrounding coutryside, while new roads dirsturb wildlife and break up the landscape.
‘The coutryside is one of our greatest national assets,’ CPRE chief executive Shaun Spiers tells The Daily Telegraph. ‘Development of all kinds fragments the countryside…The Government must act across the board to demonstrate it takes the future of our countryside seriously.’