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Make an impact as a Planning Volunteer!

Peter Fox
By Peter Fox
16th November 2023

Live in Nottinghamshire and love your local countryside?

If you can spare 1-2 hours per week, we’re looking for Planning Volunteers in all areas of Nottinghamshire.  Drop us an email if you’re interested in finding out more at

At CPRE Nottinghamshire, we care about what gets built where.  Our Planning Volunteers actively monitor planning applications in their area on a regular basis. Then at a bi-monthly meeting, we agree whether to comment on any significant proposals that impact positively or negatively on the countryside. 

To give you a better idea of what our planning volunteers do, here are the applications of interest we spotted in one Nottinghamshire district over a two-month period in summer 2023.

A rooftop solar installation on commercial premises. CPRE is calling on the government to realise the potential of rooftop renewables in preference to using good agricultural land.  We were all set to comment in support of this application but it was quickly decided by the local planning authority that planning permission was not required in this case. Well done to that business and we hope your rooftop solar installation serves you well!

  Solar Panel Inspection


An application for 69 affordable houses on a strip of scrubland between existing houses and an A road. We want everyone in the countryside to have a fair chance in life, which means including low-cost homes to buy and rent in our rural towns and villages. For that reason, we commented in support of this application, provided the existing footpath access is maintained.

81 houses (10% affordable as per council policy) on an unmanaged green area surrounded by residential properties. We visited the site and spoke to local people.  We had no issue with the principle of building on the site, however, we objected to the density of the housing which was out of character with the surrounding area. As it wasn’t clear in the plans, we also requested that the mature hedgerows and trees on site should be retained as a green corridor for wildlife and to make it a more pleasant place for people to live.



50 one, two and three-bedroom houses on a brownfield site, dwellings of a size that matches local housing demand.  CPRE has a “brownfield first” policy for development, in preference to building in the countryside.  We commented in support of this application.

A forthcoming application for 350 houses on a greenfield site, following a screening request to the local council. Unfortunately, this land has already been identified for housing in the emerging local plan, but we will review the application when it’s submitted, work with the affected community to understand their views and decide at our committee meeting whether to object.

No experience is needed to volunteer for these roles and induction and training will be provided. Please get in touch if you think you can help, by emailing us at

Helena Lopes