Parliamentary Question - preserving our green belt

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided the following answer to Jonathan's written parliamentary question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to require local authorities to identify brownfield rather than green belt sites for development.

Tabled on: 19 July 2019

Mrs Heather Wheeler:

In our revised National Planning Policy Framework we ask local authorities to give substantial weight to the value of re-using brownfield land, and to prioritise its redevelopment wherever possible. To assist redevelopment the Government offers loans for site preparation and infrastructure, and tax relief for land remediation; and we have introduced Permission in Principle to speed housing-led development at sites on local Registers of brownfield land.

By contrast, the Framework provides strong discouragement for needless loss of Green Belt. It makes clear that most types of new building are inappropriate in the Green Belt and should be refused planning permission. It also states that a Green Belt boundary may be adjusted only in exceptional circumstances, by means of the Local Plan revision process. At examination of a draft Plan the planning inspector will now look for evidenced justification of any Green Belt boundary change, to ensure that all other reasonable options for accommodating the development have been explored.

Because each brownfield site is different, each often requires a tailored solution. The land may be in an unsustainable or unviable location for residential use, or unavailable, or in need of complicated remediation. It would be impracticable to prevent local authorities building the homes we need until all their brownfield is used up.

The answer was submitted on 24 Jul 2019 at 17:30.