The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP and Brandon Lewis MP from the Department for Communities and Local Government have released a press release today (Sat 4 Oct 2014) saying that Councils must protect our precious green belt land. Guidance to be published on Mon 6 Oct 2014 will explain that once established, green belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional cases, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan.

It also states that housing need – including for traveller sites – does not justify the harm done to the green belt by inappropriate development.

Eric Pickles said:

This government has been very clear that when planning for new buildings, protecting our precious green belt must be paramount. Local people don’t want to lose their countryside to urban sprawl, or see the vital green lungs around their towns and cities to unnecessary development.

Today’s guidance will ensure councils can meet their housing needs by prioritising brownfield sites, and fortify the green belt in their area.

Brandon Lewis said:

We have put Local Plans at the heart of the reformed, planning system, so councils and local people can now decide where development should and shouldn’t go.

Support for new housing is growing, because communities welcome development if it is built in the right place and does not ignore their needs. That’s why 230,000 planning permissions were granted by councils in the last year alone, while the most recent official statistics show that green belt development is at its lowest rate since modern records began in 1989.

For the full press release click on the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/news/councils-must-protect-our-precious-green-belt-land

Lets hope our Councils take this on board.

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