William Eichler 12 September 2016

London’s Green Belt under ‘greater threat than ever’

London’s Green Belt under ‘greater threat than ever’  image

London’s Green Belt is under ‘greater threat than ever’ despite Tory manifesto promises it would be ‘safe under us’.

New research carried out by the London Green Belt Council and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)—and published in the report Safe under us?— has revealed there are plans to build 123,528 homes on 203 sites within the capital’s Green Belt.

The campaign groups surveyed 42 local planning authorities, which cover nearly 84% of all London Green Belt land, and found the majority of the proposed homes—94%—are on sites allocated by councils in their Local Plan documents.

The Government’s planning framework states that only in ‘exceptional’ circumstances can councils build on Green Belt land.

However, Safe under Us? argued that unclear national planning guidance and inflated housing targets premised on unrealistic economic growth forecasts are forcing local authorities to give up Green Belt land to development.

‘Promises were made in the Conservative general election manifesto that the Green Belt would be “Safe under us”,’ Richard Knox-Johnston, chair of the London Green Belt Council, said.

‘However, councils are telling their residents that there is no alternative but to build in the Green Belt.’

‘Our evidence shows that in spite of the government’s promise, councils are responding to a series of national messages and policies which force them to release Green Belt land to receive financial incentives and avoid sanctions,’ he continued.

Mr Knox-Johnston highlighted the problems of land banking, hoarding and delays in planning permission.

‘The system is clearly not working and is not protecting the Green Belt. It seems likely that the Government target of two million homes by 2020 will not be met due to land banking and hoarding.

‘By not taking action to unlock the land which already has planning permission, more pressure is being put on Green Belt land. We now need government to appreciate that this situation is not acceptable and to introduce measures to reinstate the protection of Green Belt as a matter of urgency.’

For more on the Green Belt debate read our feature, Do we REALLY need the Green Belt?

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse image

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse

Steph Waddell says it’s time for a serious long-term commitment from government to improve understanding of what works in supporting children affected by domestic abuse.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Information Governance Lead

Greater Manchester Combined Authority
£41,881 - £45,859
We are recruiting for Information Governance professionals who will be ambassadors of information governance excellence within... Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Security Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £45597 per annum
Security Analyst Permanent, Full Time £41,000 to £45,597 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Regulatory Compliance Lead - Complaints and Compliance

Essex County Council
£34501 - £36501 per annum
Regulatory Compliance Lead - Complaints and Compliance Permanent, Full Time £32,900 to £36,501 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Recruitment Day

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
***When applying for this role, please note that interviews will be held as part of a Virtual Recruitment Day on the 13th July 2021*** About the Role England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Quantity Surveyor Procurement (Major Works and Refurbishment)

Brent Council
£46,839 - £49,827 p.a. inc.
An exciting opportunity to provide quantity surveying services and support for the Council’s Housing major works refurbishment projects. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue