The area of countryside laying on the edges of the built up area. Some land uses that are present, such as golf courses and water supply, are for the benefit of those living in the city. This area is under the greatest pressure from city growth, which is increasing because of the desire of many people and businesses to move out of town. The characteristics of this area can be split into two areas: – i. Economic factors from the urban area.

These are: – On the outer edge of the urbanised area (the present urban boundary), there are several types of structure to be found. Firstly business and science parks with high-tech industries along with regional shopping complex or hypermarket and office development. Secondly, new suburban hosing estates of large detached houses surrounded with big gardens, characterised by a ribbon or linear development along main roads as well as suburbanised villages, dormitory settlements and homes for commuters who live in this outer fringe but work in the city. And lastly, areas of large sewage works and landfill/waste sites, areas of work sites and urban by-passes, national motorways and service stations.

Environmental factors from the non-urban area. These are :- Further out into the rural areas theses buildings disappear to be replaced by farmland and country parks, near enough to the city for use by urban dwellers. These characteristics can be explained because of certain reasons, the main being a lack of space in the already urbanised areas for new growth and the relative cheapness of the land in the rural areas compared to the high rates of the city.

This allows industries that need room for expansion and car parking ,etc to locate near to a large area of workforce and consumers while still having plenty of room for growth and not having to cope with high costs of rent, e.g. the supermarkets, office developments and business parks. The fact that motorways are also located out of town means that transport costs for deliveries, etc, are kept down as opposed to industries still located in the cities having to contend with traffic congestion where workers and goods re stuck in traffic but still costing the company money. The motorways also act like a pot of honey attracting more businesses and out of town conveniences to the area which, in turn, increase the demand for workers, housing and services.

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For much the same reasons housing is creeping into this area, lack of space and high costs in the city forcing developers out into rural areas. Demand for housing from workers at the business parks and offices also located out of town, as well as need for dormitory villages for existing workers from the city looking to move out of the urban area, means more and more farmland is being lost to the rapid growth of housing . The people living in the housing commute to the city for work and recreation, and the ongoing processes of counter-urbanisation and sub-urbanisation continue to erode the countryside.

Among the services located out of town it is important not to forget the sewage works and landfill sites. Located far enough out of the city to avoid the unpleasant smell and sight. In the countryside itself, some of the farmland is being sold off to developers while some farmers fight too keep their land and uphold that lifestyle. Country parks have been built to reduce the cost of, and pressures upon, National Parks. Urban dwellers use these as space for recreation and add to the notion of country life that many city folk have, and so promote counter-urbanisation.

However, as in all cases, not everyone is happy with this state of affairs. Conservationists want to protect wildlife and stop the destruction of its natural habitats, farmers want to protect their land, and villagers living in suburbanising villages grow unhappy at the influx of new people, heralding the decline of services in there village as it gets turned into just another commuter town, e.g. butchers, etc, turned into antique shops, etc . Additionally the children of the villagers will have to move out of the village as the house prices are pushed up by the increase in wealthy residents.

The government was becoming increasingly concerned with the rate of urban growth and increasing urban spread. There was a danger of towns merging to form large built-up conurbations. Therefore greenbelts were introduced by one act of parliament in 1947. This were areas of land around the city which were to be preserved for farming and recreation and on which planning permission to build is very difficult to obtain. At present greenbelt areas cover over 12% of England but there is increasing pressure to build on these areas as it is estimated four million new homes will be required in the next twenty-five years. In some areas greenbelt has actually leapfrogged and is now included within the city.


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