Campaign to protect green fields from development shortlisted in Journalism Matters award

Voting is open now in the 2022 Making a Difference Award as part of Journalism Matters

<p>A campaign which called for protection of green field sits has been shortlisted in a national award</p>

A campaign which called for protection of green field sits has been shortlisted in a national award

A campaign by our sister newspapers and websites to protect our precious green fields from development and get central government in Westminster to devolve housing numbers - along with many other powers - to local councils has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

If you support the campaign, please vote for it by going to the online vote now.

In March, titles in the National World group in Sussex including SussexWorld, the Chichester Observer series, West Sussex County Times, West Sussex Gazette, Worthing Herald, Eastbourne Herald and Hastings Observer series, launched the ‘Save Our Sussex’ campaign.

The campaign aimed to highlight the threats posed by overdevelopment and the huge pressures caused by unrealistic housing targets in a county sandwiched between the sea and the protected South Downs. It called for greater powers for councils to determine their own housing needs and annual targets, free from the influence of centralised calculations as well as stronger protection for greenfield sites than national policies currently provide.

The campaign raised vital questions for the area such as whether crucial infrastructure such as roads, sewerage system, schools, and healthcare would be able to cope with a sharp increase in the population and gave a voice to local residents concerned about the issue.

Save Our Sussex is one of 13 local and regional campaigns shortlisted for the 2022 Making a Difference Award as part of Journalism Matters, an annual initiative run by the News Media Association to highlight the vital role trusted news media journalism plays in our democratic society.

Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of SussexWorld and its Sussex newspapers said: "It really is time that key issues that affect the regions are devolved by Westminster to local councils. We know what is best for our communities.

"The amount of development that central government continues to demand of this county and its green fields is unsustainable. Everyone accepts the need for some low cost housing for local young people. The harsh truth is all this housing is rarely genuinely low cost and much of it is being bought by Londoners desperate to escape the overpopulated capital city in a post lockdown world."

Voting is open now until 5pm on Wednesday (2 November) via the News Media Association website.

The News Media Association is the voice of national, regional and local news media organisations in the UK – a £4 billion sector read by 47.4 million adults every month in print and online.

Nine-hundred national and local news media titles are published in the UK, with 68% of under 35s agreeing a world without journalism would harm democracy. Research by Ofcom last year found just 33% of people think social media is a trustworthy source of news.

NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “Campaigning by news media titles delivers real benefit for our society in all sorts of different areas. Part of the NMA’s Journalism Matters campaign, the Making a Difference showcase brings together these initiatives and tells the story of news media’s contribution to our democracy.”