May 2016 – Green Belt/National Planning Policy Framework

May 2016 – Green Belt/National Planning Policy Framework

Thank you for contacting me about development on the Green Belt.

I am exceptionally fond of the British countryside, and we are fortunate to have some truly beautiful countryside in Selby & Ainsty. While it is up to local authorities to determine the development of new homes through local plans, I would like to reassure you that the Government is acting to protect the Green Belt from inappropriate development.

National planning policy is explicit that key protections such as the Green Belt cannot automatically be overridden by the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

Planning policy also guarantees strong protection for National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Powers have also been given to councils to resist unwanted garden grabbing and to protect valuable local green spaces. The Green Belt now also enjoys greater protection from erosion from caravan and traveller sites.

I am glad that the Government has also abolished every single one of Labour’s top-down Regional Strategies that sought to remove the Green Belt around 30 different towns and cities. Latest statistics show that the level of Green Belt development is now at its lowest rate since modern records began in 1989.

I further welcome plans to ensure that planning permission is in place on 90 per cent of suitable brownfield sites by 2020. This will ensure that development is prioritised on brownfield sites rather than at the expense of our countryside.

Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.