£50,000 government grant to Selby Council to protect greenbelt from illegal development

Nigel Adams has welcomed a £50,000 award to Selby Council to tackle unauthorised developments in the Green Belt. The move is part of the Conservatives’ drive to protect the Green Belt for future generations.

The award is from a fund of nearly £2M announced by  Housing Minister, Rt Hon Esther McVey MP. The additional money is specifically to protect Green Belt from unauthorised development.  The cash is in addition to the Selby Councils budget for planning enforcement and is there to enable the council to tackle unauthorised traveller encampments, illegal buildings work and other unauthorised activity in the Green Belt. The council can use the money to  allocate more resources to their enforcement team, to invest in new technology or take action against rogue developers who have done work without planning permission.

The award was announced by Esther McVey at the annual RESI Convention in Newport on 12 September. She said that 37 councils, including Selby, would be receiving up to £50,000 each to help with the clampdown.

Nigel Adams MP said: “We have had more than our fair share of illegal encampments and unauthorised developments in Selby District. The Council takes these issues seriously and with this extra funding, hopefully we will see a long term plan to combat such illegal development. This additional government funding announced today will enable Selby Council to take a robust approach with rogue developers and those who build illegally or set up illegal traveller encampments.”

The Green Belt is important because of the protection it provides to the character of an area and the way in which it prevents urban sprawl. Green Belt protection was enhanced in the recent review of the National Planning Policy Framework. It is a long established principle that Green Belt land is protected and can only be built on in exceptional circumstances.

Ester McVey said “Alongside the cash boost for councils, we are teaming up with the Royal Town Planning Institute to overhaul the national enforcement handbook to stop illegal developments ever happening in the first place. The updated handbook will provide the latest best practice and expertise on shutting down illegal building, how to prevent it from happening whilst ensuring developers obtain full planning permission before a shovel hits the ground.”