Green Belt under pressure

460,000 homes to be built on Green Belt land
460,000 homes to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt.

Local authorities plan to release Green Belt land for almost 460,000 homes according to a new report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

The report also finds that local authorities with Green Belt land have enough brownfield land for over 720,000 homes.

The CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report states that whilst 460,000 homes are to be built on Green Belt land, the percentage of ‘affordable’ homes built continues to fall

According to the new report, the Green Belt remains under severe pressure, despite government commitments to its protection.

Tom Fyans, Director of Campaigns and Policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

“We are being sold a lie by many developers. As they sell off and gobble up the Green Belt to build low density, unaffordable housing, young families go on struggling to afford a place to live. The affordable housing crisis must be addressed with increasing urgency, while acknowledging that far from providing the solution, building on the Green Belt only serves to entrench the issue.

‘The government is failing in its commitment to protect the Green Belt – it is being eroded at an alarming rate. But it is essential, if the Green Belt is to fulfil its main purposes and provide 30 million of us with access to the benefits of the countryside, that the redevelopment of brownfield land is prioritised, and Green Belt protection strengthened.”

Affordable Housing

Less than 22% of housing units with planning permission meet the government’s definition of affordable, with 27% on greenfield land and 19% on brownfield.

The total proportion of affordable housing units with planning permission in the Green Belt has not changed since 2009/10, according to the CPRE.

Loss of Green Belt land

Green Belt land covers 13% of England with development only allowed in ‘very special circumstances’, according to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

According to government data, cited by the CPRE, there has been a 62% increase in the loss of greenfield Green Belt land since 2013, with 315 hectares lost in 2016/17 alone.

The number of housing units completed on greenfield development in the Green Belt has risen from zero in 2009/10 to 3,387 in 2017/18.

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