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Country News - 2004

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Skipton shines amongst “bland market towns” - CPRE

Tuesday 23 March 2004

MANY of England’s small market towns are in danger of becoming bland dormitories for people working in the big cities, according to a major report published today.

But Skipton and Guisborough in North Yorkshire are in the top twenty in the country when it comes to “good practice” in maintaining their character, says the newly renamed Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.

Last year, the CPRE carried out a nationwide survey of 120 country towns and the results published today are pretty depressing. Says the report: “The health check found many towns to be threatened by bland and uniform new development with nothing local about it.

“Others were in danger of becoming dormitories, with new housing development merely increasing the numbers commuting to work outside these settlements. Some have been hard hit by major retail developments which have sucked the life from their side streets.”

However, officials highlighted a list of 20 towns, including Skipton, “which stood out as demonstrating a range of good practice – they appeared to be performing at the top end of the range.”

But ominously, the report adds: “None of these 20 were entirely free of the problems affecting the other towns surveyed.”

  • Daelnet will discuss the pros and cons of this report in greater deal in A Week in the Country on Friday.

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