Unsustainable rural development is the failure to sustain the renewable and nonrenewable rural resources: natural, modified and cultivated. Renewable resources offer the greatest opportunity for sustainable development. This opportunity is missed or destroyed by inadequate conservation or the separation of development and conservation efforts.
On the fringes of Woodchester, an English village, there was an old flock mill with a beautiful lake which was a haven for wildlife. In the early 1980s, in a single day, the lake was filled in with tons of rubbish, the mill was pulled down, and a flat, dark industrial building was constructed on the site that has remained untenanted ever since. In 1993, there is an approved planning application for a new commercial building on a village green, when there are many commercial and business premises vacant.