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Regional Planning and Development: Thames Gateway

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the proposed development in the Thames Gateway area entails building on green belt land. (194998)

There are no proposals in the East of England or South East Regional Spatial Strategies for amending Green Belt boundaries in the Thames Gateway area. Any planning applications for development on Green Belt land must satisfy the national planning policies on Green Belts set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 2. Under this policy, strict planning controls in Green Belt land are in place and there remains a general presumption against inappropriate development within Green Belts. As we reaffirmed in last year’s Planning White Paper, the Government have no intention of making fundamental changes to this policy.

I would also point out that one of the reasons land may be included in the Green Belt is to assist in the urban regeneration of urban land, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other land. The opportunities for urban regeneration in the Thames Gateway are recognised in the Government’s investment programme for the area.