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 recent steps his Department has taken to protect the green belt from housing developments.
Tabled on: 19 July 2019
Mrs Heather Wheeler:
In our National Planning Policy Framework, reissued in February 2019, we ask local authorities to protect their Green Belts, making clear that most types of new buildings are inappropriate there, and should be refused planning permission. The revised Framework now also states that a local authority can propose to alter a Green Belt boundary only in exceptional circumstances and only if it can show that it has examined all other reasonable options for meeting its identified development needs. A local authority should therefore make as much use as possible of suitable brownfield and under-used land; optimise density of development; and discuss with neighbouring authorities whether they could take some of the necessary development, as agreed in a Statement of Common Ground. As part of the rigorous examination of a draft Plan, the planning inspector will look for evidenced justification of any proposed change to a Green Belt, to check that reasonable alternatives have been explored.
The answer was submitted on 24 Jul 2019 at 17:31.