chapter  8
9 Pages

Town and Country Planning Applied to Rural Counties

The 1947 Town and Country Planning Act changed all this and the countryman can no longer shrug off planning problems as the concern of townsmen only. Before 1947, the interest of the greater proportion of the adult population of the country had been stimulated by a series of reports, organised discussions on the radio and in the barrack room, newspaper articles and the like, which lasted from the publication of the Barrow Report in 1940 until well after the passing of the 1947 Act. Other factors were related to the general awareness of a need for some kind of control over the use to which land should be put. There was, for instance, the discovery of its value as a producer of food during war time. War-time evacuation and dispersal had brought townsmen and countrymen face to face as never before and both were made aware of the others' problems. At the same time, one must recognise that all this was built upon the work of educating the general public carried on by the specialist societies of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, who had fought so earnestly

to preserve and protect the open spaces and rights of way, bird sanctuaries, etc. and had helped to create in ordinary people an appreciation of the aesthetic value of the countryside to the nation. Their efforts were high-lighted by the Scott and Barlow Committees1 and brought to a focus in postWorld War I I town and country planning legislation.