Monday, 20 November 2017

Councils 'confused' over green belt land

THE Chiltern Society has called on the Government to clear up the confusion about whether councils should plan to allow

THE Chiltern Society has called on the Government to clear up the confusion about whether councils should plan to allow developers to build housing in the green belt.

It claims that many local authorities feel they have no choice because they are asked by the Government to find room for extra houses for which there isn’t enough unprotected land.

But housing minister Brandon Lewis has said that the green belt could be a legitimate reason for setting housing targets below the targets.

Tom Rodwell, chairman of the society’s planning campaign group, said: “The Government appears to be changing its emphasis regarding the green belt because previously the priority seemed to be for councils to build the number of houses deemed necessary while protected areas such as green belt seemed to take a lower priority.

“Councils, environment groups and housing developers need clear, unequivocal advice from the Government about where the green belt stands in its list of priorities.



“The problem is particularly acute for councils in the areas that make up the Chilterns, which is susceptible to housing pressure because of its attractiveness and closeness to London but at the same time has the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and many areas of green belt .

“The Government expects councils to meet large housing demands while at the same time expecting them to preserve protected land like green belt. It is offering no clear advice and in our experience it is throwing planning departments into confusion.”

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