Building on the Green Belt

May 24, 2022

Controversy surrounding Green Belt development is often an issue, yet strategic planning could benefit the environment and make more property available…

Many of us wish to save our Green Belt land, whether it is to support delicate wildlife, keep the permanence of surrounding countryside, or both. Broad sweeping Green Belt policies have been made with this in mind, but could these inadvertently be causing more harm than good?

The Green Belt Protection Bill had its second reading earlier this month, and proposes;

“…to establish a national register of Green Belt land in England; to restrict the ability of local authorities to de-designate Green Belt land; to make provision about future development of de-designated Green Belt land; and for connected purposes.”

The bill also proposes that no Local Authority can de–designate Green Belt land without ensuring an alternative area has been designated as Green Belt.

Not all Green Belt is green, and much of our designated Green Belt offers little by way of supporting biodiversity.

Local Authorities currently have the ability to review the Green Belt in their Borough, and allocate land for development where they feel appropriate, within their Local Plans, to meet the ever-increasing housing needs of our country.

Thoughtful development of such land could create much needed housing along with green open space, whilst enhancing and supporting wildlife habitat.

Where a Local Authority does not have an up-to-date Local Plan, planning applications made by owners of Green Belt land may be rejected by the Local Authority, but could be approved on appeal.

Strategic planning studying the overall picture of the local landscape could create more varied opportunities, reducing the need for large scale developments, and respecting the true Green Belt areas.

Smaller housing sites, clustered through our villages and towns would make less impact on existing local environments, communities, and infrastructures, as well as creating less homogenous, more desirable places to live.

If you are considering development of land or property you own within the Green Belt, you can contact our Land Department for advice on 01252 597765,

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