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Here you will find the major news stories that we are taking an active interest in.

Official 'brownfield registers' seriously under-estimate the amount of derelict, vacant and previously built on land that could be used for new housing in London.  We need to prioritise the reuse of such sites for housing to revitalise run-down areas and protect the Green Belt and other vital green spaces.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:35

Space to Build in Enfield


Weds 13 February 2019 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For further comment please call Alice Roberts CPRE London 07792942691

Space for 37,000 new homes within Enfield’s previously developed land

Building on Enfield’s Green Belt is “worst possible option” for Enfield residents, say campaigners

CPRE London [1] has worked with local groups Enfield RoadWatch [2] and The Enfield Society [3] to publish today (Wednesday) ‘Space to Build, Enfield’ [4] – evidence they intend to use to support their responses to Enfield Council’s Local Plan consultation.

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said “Our report shows that Enfield Council should not even be considering building on Green Belt. There is plenty of space to build new homes within Enfield’s previously developed land. We’ve already found space for 37,000 new homes and that’s really just a start.”

“But our research also shows that building housing at Crews Hill [5] in Enfield’s Green Belt would be the worst possible option for Enfield residents. It cannot provide affordable housing [6], would mean more congestion and traffic [7], and would destroy a cluster of much-loved businesses which are visited by people from all over north London and beyond – an important piece of Enfield’s economy which cannot be replaced.

The type of low-density housing which is typical of Green Belt developments will contribute little towards the borough’s housing target. Building on Enfield’s Green Belt would mean giving up large swathes of valuable green land for very few new homes. And those will predominantly be expensive homes.

“There are much better options. Large ‘opportunity’ sites, like the Southbury area, can and should be ‘masterplanned’ for high quality, high density (though not high rise) housing developments which are ‘walkable’ and where space is used for housing rather than lots car parking, as happens with low-density Green Belt development. [8] This type of high density housing is more affordable for young people and people on lower incomes – people who are also more likely to rely on public transport and are less able to afford a car. It can also include office space, schools, shops – everything people need.

Alice Roberts concluded:

“Enfield Council should put its limited resources into planning for high quality, high density development which can improve lives for all its residents – rather than focussing valuable time on displacing Crews Hill businesses, only to create expensive homes and worsen traffic congestion.

“As the London Plan goes through its Examination in Public, we are seeing a new round of pressure to release Green Belt from developers and landowners who stand to gain and who claim this will help to solve the housing crisis. Young people in particular are being cruelly misled. It will not solve Enfield’s housing crisis and will reduce access to the countryside. In fact, it is the worst possible option for all Enfield residents.”



  1. CPRE London is a membership-based charity with 2,500 members around London, which campaigns to save Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and other green spaces within Greater London, and to make our capital city a better place to live for everyone. We are a branch of the national environmental charity, the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
  2. Enfield RoadWatch is an action group committed to campaigning to save Green Belt in Enfield and more widely
  3. The Enfield Society has about 2000 members and is one of the most active amenity societies in the country
  4. CPRE London, Enfield RoadWatch and The Enfield Society today publish Space to Build Enfield, the result of extensive research into ‘space to build’ in all 21 wards in Enfield.
  5. Enfield’s Local Plan Consultation documents point to the popular garden centre destination, Crews Hill, as an area which might be appropriate for housing development
  6. CPRE’s 2018 report showed that the vast majority of new homes being built in Green Belt are not affordable
  7. Low density vs high density: pollution and childhood obesity Homes in Green Belt locations cannot be built to high density because public transport levels are not high enough. Even when close to stations, the majority of trips are made by car because people have no other option. Buses are few and far between and the train only takes you in a particular direction. So people living in Green Belt developments – and Crews Hill in Enfield would be no exception – would necessarily rely on car travel for most of their trips – and that means more car journeys, more traffic & congestion, and more pollution, when compared to locations close to Enfield’s existing town and district centres. Enfield and indeed the whole of London is facing dual health crises with air pollution and childhood obesity: a staggering 25% of Enfield’s Year 6 children were identified as being ‘obese’ in 2015/16 []. As the Mayor of London recognises in his Transport Strategy, we need fewer car trips and more trips made by public transport, walking and cycling.
  8. Southbury area and transport. Our report shows that transport around the Southbury area, for example, can be improved at relatively low cost so it has the excellent public transport needed for high density development. Of course transport improvements at Southbury would be great news for the people in the area already relying on public transport.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 12:28

Christmas message from our vice-chair

Written by Deleted user 1

Here is an inspiring message from our Vice Chair Carol restating our vital mission standing up for London's green spaces and wider environment.....

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 12:14

Seeking a trustee with urban design skills

Written by Deleted user 1

Passionate about urban design and green spaces in London?  

Could you help us improve London’s green infrastructure?  We are seeking a new trustee with experience in urban design - closing date for applications 8 March   

Monday, 17 December 2018 12:47

Our Winter Newsletter

Written by Deleted user 1

Read our new Winter Newsletter with headlines of our key activities over the last few months.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 16:12

CPRE London Green Clean

Please call Neil Sinden on 07496 805354 for further information


 London’s Bow Back Rivers get a ‘Green Clean’

The London branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is working with volunteers in east London as part of a nationwide clean-up of our precious green spaces this September In anticipation of the introduction of deposit return system for drinks containers.

Environmental campaigners CPRE London are delighted to be working with local volunteers to clean up litter hotspots around the Bow Back and Lea Rivers near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday 23 September [1].    The event is part of a nationwide Green Clean initiative which will highlight the huge volume of bottles and cans that litter many of our most precious green spaces.

Neil Sinden from CPRE London [2] said:

‘Drink-related litter is a major problem in London. It’s great to have the opportunity to take part in this nationwide campaign to draw attention to the impact of discarded drinks containers which detract so much from the beauty and enjoyment of green spaces and waterways across the capital.   We are grateful for all the volunteers participating in this litter-pick which we hope will be one of the last to reveal the extent of this problem.’

Charles Dean from the Friends of Bow Back Rivers said:

‘We are very pleased to work in partnership with CPRE and local volunteers on this litter pick. As a local community group we want to improve the quality of the environment along these important London waterways for the benefit of those who live by, work near or use the river systems for recreation. Events like this have a double benefit - cleaning up heavily littered areas and raising awareness of the need to tackle plastic waste pollution.’

London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment & Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: 

‘The Mayor is determined to help make London one of the greenest cities on the planet and cleaning up and maintaining our green spaces is vitally important. At City Hall we are committed to reducing needless plastic waste which can end up littering our parks and rivers. I want to thank CPRE and all the hard working volunteers who are helping out on ‘Green Cleans’ across London.’

After 10 years of campaigning, the Government announcement that England is to have a deposit return system earlier this year was a huge environmental win for CPRE in its fight against bottles and cans which litter green spaces in town and country [3]. Similar systems around the world boost recycle rates as high as 97% [4].

Yet while we wait for the scheme to be put in place, England’s green spaces remain awash with empty bottles and cans, causing serious harm to our natural environment and wildlife. So throughout September CPRE is mobilising its network to encourage litter pickers to clear up our green spaces as part of its nationwide ‘Green Clean’. The aim is to collect as much rubbish as possible, and experience the green spaces we all want to see, before we have a deposit system that will prevent them from becoming littered with cans and bottles ever again.

As well as collecting litter, CPRE Green Cleaners will record the quantity and type of litter they find. The information recorded will help deliver innovative solutions to England’s litter problem by increasing recycling and changing behaviours to reduce litter levels further.

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, CPRE’s National Litter Campaigner said:

‘Our nationwide Green Clean will help prepare our green spaces for the introduction of a deposit return system, transforming them back to a beautiful, litter-free state. So long as the deposit system that the Government introduces is set up to collect all drinks containers – all materials of all sizes – this harmful littered eyesore could soon be a thing of the past.

‘We want everyone across the country to get out and get involved. Through the collective effort of local people and communities, who either live in or simply love our green spaces, we can banish bottles and cans from our parks, fields, footpaths and hedgerows for good.’


Notes to Editors/Picture Editors:

  1. CPRE London’s Green Clean of Bow Back Rivers in east London takes place between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Sunday 23 September.   Volunteers will meet at the Viewtube on the Greenway, Marshgate Lane, E15 2JP before tackling litter hotspots along nearby waterways.   There will be a photocall opportunities at the start and end of the litter pick – contact Neil Sinden on 07496 805354 for details. We are grateful for the support of Thames Water, LB of Newham, Poplar HARCA, Viewtube Café, Dot Dot Dot, the Canal and River Trust, and the Mayor’s Office in running this event.

  1. CPRE London is a membership-based charity with 2,500 members around London. We are London’s leading environment charity protecting green spaces and making the city a better place for everyone. We are a branch of the national environmental charity, the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

  1. CPRE delighted by deposit return announcement
    On 23 March 2018, the Government announced it would be introducing a nationwide deposit return system for plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminium cans. This will help boost recycling rates and combat the plague of litter blighting green spaces.

  1. Deposit return – the past becomes the future

For countries such as Norway and Germany that already have a system in place, littered bottles and cans are a rare sight, as the deposit system means that they have a monetary value and people either want to return them to collect their deposit or pick up those containers discarded by others to collect those deposits. Many other countries and provinces around the world have found a deposit return system to be the best way to capture drinks containers, and there have been similar initiatives for glass bottles in England some years back. Due to the monetary incentive, such schemes have return rates of between 70-98.5%, with an associated reduction in other container litter of up to 80%.


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