Prince William warns open spaces are 'under threat'

  • 18 October 2011
  • From the section UK

Prince William has warned that many of Britain's green spaces are under threat and could be lost to developers.

In a YouTube video, the prince urges people to preserve fields and parkland as part of a campaign to create or preserve 2,012 open spaces by 2012.

It is part of celebrations to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee next year.

The recorded message, broadcast on the Royal Channel, sees the 29-year-old urge viewers to vote to save their "favourite space".

He said the campaign aims to protect sites so that "millions of people for generations to come can take part in sport, play and enjoy".

"Many of these sites may be lost in the future if they are not protected. The sites will also be at the heart of many Diamond Jubilee parties next year.

"I can think of no better way to pay tribute to the Queen in the 60th year of her reign, a year that coincides with the Olympic Games in our country."

The prince is the patron of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge and launched the campaign last year.

He said he was delighted with local authorities who had responded to the challenge, saying: "We have been offered coastline and woodland, as well as existing children's playgrounds and recreational fields."

He said in many areas there had been more nominations than could be accommodated so he has called for people to vote for their favourite sites which will be protected for future generations.

People have a month from 18 October to vote.

Prince William has increasingly used social social media to connect to the public. His engagement to Kate Middleton was announced via Clarence House's twitter account. and the latest details on his subsequent wedding were listed on the British Monarchy's facebook page.

The plea comes after campaigners spoke out against government plans to change the planning system.

Ministers say the proposals make the planning system less complex and accessible by replacing 1,000 pages of regulation with just 52.

However, campaigners including the National Trust say they pose a threat to open spaces and make it "ludicrously easy" for developers to start building.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said green spaces would benefit from increased planning protection.

He added: "We desperately need to bring about new homes and jobs but this will not be at the expense of our green spaces. Making sure people can go on enjoying their local amenities is at the heart of the changes."

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